Dollar General

Dollar General's Problems with OSHA Go On

OSHA has added $2.7 million in proposed penalties to existing fines on the discount retailer.   December 7, 2022

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 

A few things in life are guaranteed. The sun rises, the sun sets, and people pay their taxes. Dollar General safety compliance woes seem destined to join this group. The retail chain’s run-ins with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in recent years have been documented here and here and here

And it goes on. 

Less than one month after OSHA cited Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC with more than $1.6 million in penalties for putting its workers' safety at risk, federal inspectors have issued citations for similar violations at stores in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and it added $2,777,640 in proposed penalties now owed by one of the nation's largest discount retailers. 

Since 2017, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC have received more than $12.3 million in initial penalties for numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations. During the past five years, OSHA found unsafe conditions that expose workers to the possibility of being struck by falling boxes of merchandise or trapped or unable to exit the store safely in an emergency in more than 180 inspections at Dollar General stores nationwide. 

Seven inspections by the OSHA from April 28 through June 3, 2022, identified 31 violations similar to those found at other Dollar General stores where litigation is pending. Violations issued as the result of the inspections have qualified Dollar General Corp. for inclusion in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. 

OSHA inspectors cited Dollar General for 11 willful, 16 repeat and four serious violations at the seven Southeast locations. In addition to the struck-by and blocked exit hazards, OSHA cited the company for: 

  • failing to label, mount, or make fire extinguishers accessible 
  • storing boxes in front of electrical panels, increasing the risk of fire and electrical hazards 
  • failing to use exit signs to facilitate safe egress in the event of an emergency 
  • exposing workers to electrocution by not keeping unused openings in electrical cabinets closed 
  • not providing handrails on stairs where required.  

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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