Repeated visits by OSHA inspectors to a Massachusetts Dollar Tree store found blocked exits and other hazardous conditions in the store’s stockroom – and OSHA says similar hazards have been found at other Dollar Tree stores in the U.S.
Cited multiple times
"This case reflects this company's deliberate and ongoing refusal to effectively address hazards that have been cited multiple times at their stores across the country," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. "On his initial visit to the store, the OSHA inspector informed management of the hazards and the need to correct them. Yet, on subsequent visits, the inspector found these hazardous conditions again and again, showing an unacceptable disregard for employee health and safety."
In a December 2013 inspection OSHA found merchandise in the store’s stockroom was consistently stacked in an unstable and unsecured manner that exposed workers to crushing injuries should the stacks collapse. Emergency exit routes were also consistently blocked by store inventory, shopping carriages, a conveyor and garbage. In addition, the store failed to maintain a means of access to an electrical control panel so that employees could turn off the store’s electrical power in the event of an emergency.
Dollar Tree Stores Inc. faces a $177,800 fine.
OSHA also cited the company for allowing trash and garbage to accumulate throughout the stockroom, creating tripping and exit hazards for the workers. The citations can be viewed at here*.
453 violations over 19 years
Dollar Tree Stores has been inspected 153 times nationally over 19 years and was cited for 453 violations of OSHA standards. Within the last five years, Dollar Tree Stores was cited 51 times for the same violations being cited willfully at the Roslindale store. Earlier this year, Dollar Tree Stores was cited for similar violations at stores in Wilmington, Delaware and Missoula, Montana.
"Placing employees repeatedly at risk of serious injuries or death is serial behavior for this company, and it must change," said Robert Hooper, OSHA's acting regional administrator for New England. "A large employer such as Dollar Tree Stores has a responsibility to its employees to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers at all of its more than 5,000 locations."
Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, Dollar Tree Stores is a large single-price-point retailer, operating 5,080 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of May 3.