OSHA fines Watchung, NJ, Dollar Tree Stores more than $50,000 for exposing workers to workplace safety hazards (9/8)
OSHA initiated its inspection in July in response to a complaint. As a result of the investigation, Dollar Tree Stores was cited for two repeat violations with a penalty of $56,000 for failing to properly stack, block, interlock or limit the height of stored materials to prevent these materials from sliding or collapsing onto workers. Dollar Tree Stores previously was cited for the same violations at its Dover, N.J., and Kissimmee, Fla., locations in March 2008 and November 2008, respectively. A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states within three years of a previous citation.
The employer also has been cited for two serious violations with a penalty of $6,000 for failing to cover exposed electrical outlets, and failing to keep storage areas free of tripping and fire hazards. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
"The violations found at Dollar Tree Stores are indicative of the kind of safety and health concerns, often found at retail stores, that can pose a serious risk to workers," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's area office in Avenel, N.J. "It is imperative that Dollar Tree evaluates all its store locations for these and other potential workplace hazards and takes the appropriate steps to protect the workers."
Dollar Tree Stores has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Avenel Area Office; telephone 732-750-3270. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.