Dollar General has been fined again for exposing its workers to unsafe conditions – this time in four stores in Florida and Georgia.
The OHSA has inspected stores in Ocala, Florida and Columbus in Georgia, and found more of the safety violations seen in other stores across the U.S.
The OHSA has issued more than $15 million in fines since 2017.
It cites Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp in more than 180 inspections nationwide for numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations related to unsafe conditions.
In Ocala, inspectors carried out probes in August and September last year.
They found merchandise obstructing exit routes, exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards.
They also found merchandise blocking fire extinguishers and an automatic sliding door disabled and locked.
The company was cited for five repeated violations and proposed $710,974 in fines.
Another investigation in Columbus found Dollar General’s store also exposed workers to fire and entrapment hazards by locking an emergency exit door.
The store had boxes and merchandise stored in an unsafe way, which exposed workers to struck-by hazards.
The OHSA missed citations for two repeat violations with $221,001 in fines proposed.
Similar problems were found at another location in the city, resulting in $98,219 in proposed fines.
OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta said: “Exposing employees and others to these hazards can be dangerous, especially in an emergency.
“Dollar General is well aware of federal requirements, but they continue to ignore their legal responsibilities to protect their employees at stores throughout the nation.”
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Millions of dollars in fines
OHSA has issued citations to 23 Dollar General stores between February 2022 and January 2023, totaling $7.5 million in fines.
Dollar General has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC told the Ocala Star Banner, “As a growing retailer serving thousands of communities across the country, Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its associates and shopping experience for its customers.”
“We regularly review and refine our safety programs, and reinforce them through training, ongoing communication, recognition, and accountability. When we learn of situations where we have failed to live up to this commitment, we work to timely address the issue and ensure that the company’s expectations regarding safety are clearly communicated, understood, and implemented.”