March 13, 2023
Low-cost, higher risk: Dollar General inspections in Florida, Georgiafind employees exposed to blocked emergency exits, other dangers
National discount retailer faces an additional $1M in penalties, $15M since 2017
ATLANTA – While it portrays its store chain as "America's neighborhood general store," Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC – one of the nation's largest discount retailers – continues to expose workers to unsafe conditions, this time at four Florida and Georgia stores.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected stores in Ocala, Florida, and Columbus, Georgia, and catalogued many of the same violations Dollar General has refused to correct at its stores throughout the nation.
Since 2017, OSHA has issued more than $15 million in fines and cited 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, federal workplace inspectors opened inspections at stores on 58th Avenue and Marion Oaks Manor in late August and September 2022. They found merchandise obstructing exit routes, exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards. OSHA also discovered merchandise blocking fire extinguishers and an automatic sliding door disabled and locked. The agency cited the company for five repeat violations and proposed $710,974 in penalties for these inspections.
OSHA's investigation in Columbus found Dollar General's Victory Drive location also exposed workers to fire and entrapment hazards by locking an emergency exit door. The location had boxes and merchandise stored in an unsafe manner, exposing workers to struck-by hazards. OSHA issued citations for two repeat violations with $221,001 in proposed penalties.
At the retailer's 13th Avenue location, OSHA found boxes of merchandise, shopping carts and other items blocking walkways, exposing employees to trip hazards. OSHA cited Dollar General with one repeat violation and $98,219 in proposed penalties.
"Exposing employees and others to these hazards can be dangerous, especially in an emergency," said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. "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."
In Alabama, Florida and Georgia, OSHA has issued citations in 23 Dollar General store inspections from Feb. 1, 2022 through Jan 31, 2023, with a total of nearly $7.5 million in penalties.
Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC operate about 19,000 stores and 28 distribution centers in 47 states and employ more than 173,000 workers. In fiscal year 2022, the organization's net sales were more than $9 billion.
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.
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Erika Ruthman, 678-237-0630, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric R. Lucero, 678-237-0630, email@example.com
Release Number: 23-402-NAT