Dollar Tree fined $143,000 by US Department of Labor's OSHA for willfully
exposing workers to serious safety hazards
WILMINGTON, Del. – National discount chain Dollar Tree Stores has been cited for exposing employees to safety hazards at a store located at 2603 Silverside Road in Wilmington. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for three safety violations-including two willful-following an October 2013 inspection initiated in response to a complaint alleging that emergency exits were blocked and boxes were stacked dangerously high. Proposed penalties total $143,000.
"These are common hazards found at retail establishments," said Prentice Cline, acting director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "It is imperative that Dollar Tree take the appropriate steps to protect its workers by not only fixing the dangers at this store, but by evaluating all locations for similar safety concerns."
Carrying a $140,000 penalty, the willful violations were cited because the company failed to keep exit routes unobstructed and ensure material stored in tiers was stacked in a way that was stable to prevent sliding and collapse. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The company also was cited for one serious violation, which carries a $3,000 penalty, for failure to ensure fire extinguishers were readily accessible to employees without subjecting them to injury. 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 citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DollarTreeStoresInc_943537.pdf*.
Dollar Tree Stores has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest its 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 Wilmington Area Office at 302-573-6518.
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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