Region 2 News Release: 12-937-NEW/BOS 2012-079
May 16, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Rite Aid for fall, crushing, exit and
electrical hazards at 3rd Avenue store in Brooklyn, NY
Retailer faces $111,100 in penalties for repeat and serious violations
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Rite Aid of New York Inc. for alleged repeat and serious safety violations at the retailer's 7118 Third Ave. store in Brooklyn, N.Y. Rite Aid faces a total of $111,100 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office.
Several hazards in the Third Avenue location were found similar to those cited during inspections of Rite Aid stores in Bronx and Rome, N.Y. The recurring violations included shelves and boxes stored that blocked and narrowed an emergency exit route; unsecure piles of boxes subject to collapse; and workers exposed to falls of up to 10 feet with stacking boxes and totes on the unguarded edges of stairs. Three repeat citations totaled $104,500 in proposed penalties. 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.
"These conditions endangered workers to potential falls, crushing injuries and an encumbered emergency exit," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. "Having experienced similar conditions in other stores, Rite Aid should take action to identify and effectively eliminate hazards at all its workplaces."
The Third Avenue store inspection also resulted in two serious safety citations, with $6,600 in fines, for a locked exit and lights not protected from damage. 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.
The Rite Aid of New York citations are available at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/RiteAid.pdf*.
"This employer could have implemented and maintained an effective illness and injury prevention program whereby management and workers proactively identify and prevent hazards, and thus avoid repeat citations," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Rite Aid has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Manhattan office at 212-620-3200.
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.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.