November 15, 2016
PIONEER, Ohio – Once again, federal safety inspectors have found one of the nation’s largest discount retailers putting workers and customers alike in danger by allowing emergency exit routes to be blocked.
At a Dollar General store in Pioneer, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors merchandise obstructing exits during an Aug. 18, 2016, inspection. The violations are a consistent concern for OSHA as the agency has recorded more than 100 safety and health violations at Dollar General stores nationwide, and assessed more than $1 million in proposed fines since 2010.
For the latest infraction, OSHA issued one willful safety citation to the Dollar General in Pioneer on Nov. 10, 2016, and assessed $117,579 in proposed fines. The agency cited the company’s Bolivar store for the same violation in September 2016.
“Dollar General’s continued pattern of ignoring its responsibility to protect its employees and its customers in all of its stores is cause for real concern. Obstructed exits are a real danger. Seconds matter in an emergency, and no one should have to struggle to get out of a store safely,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo.
Headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, the company operates more than 12,500 stores in 43 states and employs about 100,000 workers. In fiscal 2015, the retailer recorded sales of $20.4 billion.
View current citations here.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Toledo Area Office at (419) 259-7542.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.