Popular retail store Forever 21 fined $158,000 by US Department of Labor's
OSHA for repeat workplace safety violations at New Jersey location
Third store cited in less than 7 months
WAYNE, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited fashion retail chain Forever 21 for exposing employees to serious safety hazards at its store in Wayne. OSHA inspected the store in January 2014 after receiving a complaint alleging dangerous conditions. It proposed $158,000 in penalties for three repeat violations.
Inspectors cited the company for stored boxes filled with merchandise in front of electrical boxes; for failure to store material in a way that prevented sliding or collapse; and for failure to provide a cover for fluorescent lights that would prevent accidental contact or breakage. A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states within five years of a previous citation. The company was previously cited for one or more of these violations every year since 2010.
"Forever 21 in Paramus, N.J., was cited for workplace safety and health violations on Jan. 2, 2014, and a complaint was received at the Wayne location later that same month. The new $158,000 citation is the result of the Wayne inspection. This is the third time in less than seven months that Forever 21 has been cited by OSHA at three separate locations with penalties in excess of $100,000 each," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's area office in Hasbrouck Heights. "The employees at Forever 21 should be able to work in a hazard-free environment. Stacking boxes safely, keeping access to electrical panel boxes clear and putting covers over fluorescent lights are simple, basic safety measures that a company like Forever 21 should know and must provide to its workers."
Citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Forever21_955233_0707_14.pdf*.
Forever 21 has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally 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 Hasbrouck Heights Area Office at 201-288-1700.
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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