Region 2 News Release: 10-1186-NEW (osha 10-189)
September 7, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
US Labor Department fines Watchung, NJ, Dollar Tree Stores
more than $50,000 for exposing workers to workplace safety hazards
WATCHUNG, N.J. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dollar Tree Stores for workplace safety violations at its Watchung location. Proposed penalties total $56,000.
OSHA initiated its inspection in July in response to a complaint. As a result of the investigation, Dollar Tree Stores was cited for two repeat violations with a penalty of $50,000 for failing to properly stack, block, interlock or limit the height of stored materials to prevent these materials from sliding or collapsing onto workers. Dollar Tree Stores previously was cited for the same violations at its Dover, N.J., and Kissimmee, Fla., locations in March 2008 and November 2008, respectively. A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states within three years of a previous citation.
The employer also has been cited for two serious violations with a penalty of $6,000 for failing to cover exposed electrical outlets, and failing to keep storage areas free of tripping and fire hazards. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
"The violations found at Dollar Tree Stores are indicative of the kind of safety and health concerns, often found at retail stores, that can pose a serious risk to workers," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's area office in Avenel, N.J. "It is imperative that Dollar Tree evaluates all its store locations for these and other potential workplace hazards and takes the appropriate steps to protect the workers."
Dollar Tree Stores has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Avenel Area Office; telephone 732-750-3270. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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 assure 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.