US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Pier 1 Imports $45,100
for repeat safety violations at Staten Island, NY, store
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Pier 1 Imports with five alleged safety violations, including two repeat, for exposing workers to continued safety hazards at its Staten Island store. OSHA's September 2012 inspection was initiated in response to a complaint and resulted in $45,100 in proposed penalties.
The two repeat violations, which carry a penalty of $28,600, include failing to address the lack of clearance and working space in front of electrical panels and maintain an exit route free of obstructions. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were found at the Acton, Mass., location in April 2011.
Three serious violations, with $16,500 in fines, were cited for failing to properly store materials, keep storage areas free of tripping and fire hazards and train workers on chemical hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Pier 1 Imports has demonstrated a disregard for their workers' safety by failing to correct hazards previously brought to their attention," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel, N.J., Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring employees have a safe and healthy work environment."
Pier 1 Imports is a global importer of home décor items, furnishings and gifts. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Avenel 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 Avenel Area Office at 732-750-3270.
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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.