OSHA has cited Dollar Tree Stores at four Idaho locations for exposing employees to unsafe storage of merchandise, and blocked walkways and exit routes. The company faces $898,682 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors initially responded to a complaint alleging that a Dollar Tree store in Boise was exposing employees to unstable stacks and piles of boxes in the store’s stockroom. Soon after, OSHA received another complaint alleging similarly unsafe conditions at Dollar Tree locations in Caldwell, Nampa and Meridian.

At the four stores, inspectors found boxes stacked improperly, often with heavier boxes on top of lighter ones, and blocked aisles and exit routes. In one store, inspectors found an employee who suffered injury and needed help after boxes fell on them. While an inspector shot video of conditions during another inspection, a stack of boxes fell and nearly injured an employee. During their investigation, inspectors learned that falling boxes had injured other employees.

OSHA cited Dollar Tree for violations related to blocked aisles and exit routes, unsafe storage and stacking of boxes, blocked electrical panels, improper use of a ladder, and exposing workers to falls from heights.  The citations can be viewed here.

“Dollar Tree Stores has a history of exposing their employees to safety and health hazards,” said Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. “Improper storage of merchandise creates unnecessary risks for employees, while blocked exits pose serious risks to the safety of employees and customers in an emergency.” 

OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs includes information on how to identify and assess hazards in the workplace.