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Dollar General remains in the crosshairs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In January, OSHA publicly called out the retail chain for safety violations discovered during a June 2021 inspection of a store in Alabama.
Now, OSHA says that a series of federal workplace safety and health inspections at four Dollar General stores in Alabama and Georgia in August 2021 uncovered the nationwide discount retailer's history of exposing employees to dangerous working conditions continues.
Since 2016, OSHA has proposed more than $3.6 million in penalties in 55 inspections at Dollar General locations nationwide. OSHA inspections of the retail stores consistently reveal employee exposure to hazards associated with obstructed exit routes, unstable stacking and blocked working space around electrical panels.
In August 2021, following inspections at three Mobile stores, OSHA inspectors identified five willful violations for failing to keep receiving areas clean and orderly and stacking materials in an unsafe manner – hazards that expose workers to slips, trips and being struck-by objects. The employer also exposed workers to fire hazards by failing to keep exit routes and workspaces around electrical panels clear. As a result of the three Mobile inspections, OSHA proposed $683,680 in penalties.
In Dalton, Georgia, during another August 2021 inspection, OSHA issued citations to a Dollar General store for two willful and one repeat violations. There, investigators found similar violations. OSHA proposed $364,629 in penalties.
“Dollar General's long and extensive history of workplace safety violations and repeated failures to protect its workers shows willful recklessness,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “Their blatant and continued disregard for the safety of their employees must come to an end. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures.”
Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group.