US Labor Department's OSHA cites CVS Pharmacy, proposes $40,000 fine for
lack of emergency action plan at Dutchess County, NY, location
Retail chain previously cited for similar hazard at stores in Connecticut and Rhode Island
ALBANY, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed $40,000 in fines for CVS Pharmacy Inc. for an alleged repeat violation of safety standards following an inspection of the retailer's Red Hook store by OSHA's Albany Area Office begun in January in response to a complaint.
The inspection found that the store, located at 7518 N. Broadway, lacked a site-specific emergency action plan for workers to follow if a fire or other emergency occurred at the store. OSHA standards require emergency action plans for workplaces with more than 10 employees and where fire extinguishers are present.
"The fact that CVS has repeatedly failed to develop emergency action plans is disturbing. Hazards can vary from location to location, so it is imperative that each store has and maintains an effective emergency action plan specific to that store," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "For the safety and health of its workers, CVS needs to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place and in use at all of its locations."
As a result, OSHA has issued CVS one repeat citation for this recurring hazard. A repeat violation exists 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. OSHA had previously cited CVS in 2010 and 2011 for similar hazards at stores in Bridgeport, Conn., and Providence, R.I.
"Hazards, such as this, can be prevented if employers implement and maintain an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator for New York.
An interactive eTool addressing evacuation plans and procedures to help businesses implement an emergency action plan and comply with OSHA's emergency standards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/index.html.
CVS has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, meet with OSHA's area director 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 Albany Area Office at 518-464-4338.
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.