Dec. 17, 2014
OSHA cites Dollar Tree Stores for exposing workers
to serious hazards for second time in Delaware
Inspectors witness New Castle, Delaware, worker struck by falling boxes, issue $103K fine
NEW CASTLE, Del. – North American discount chain Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has been cited for the second time in Delaware since late 2013 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after inspectors saw an employee struck by falling boxes during a visit to its New Castle store in June 2014. For willfully and repeatedly exposing workers to serious hazards there, OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $103,000.
The incident is the latest on a long list of violations for which Dollar Tree Stores, headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, has been cited. As of October 2014, OSHA has issued more than $800,000 in fines to Dollar Tree Stores for the same or similar violations. In October 2013, three employees were injured at a Wilmington store by falling boxes.
"The continued complaints and subsequent OSHA inspections demonstrate Dollar Tree's disregard for worker safety. The company has not addressed hazards we see repeatedly nationwide. Dollar Tree continues to make sizable profits at the expense of exposing workers to serious injuries," said Erin G. Patterson, OSHA's area director in Wilmington.
Since 2009, OSHA has received complaints from its employees in 26 states and has cited the company for 234 safety violations. These violations include willful violations found during 2014 inspections in Delaware, Massachusetts and Montana. Dollar Tree employs approximately 87,400 full-time and part-time workers at more than 5,200 discount stores across the U.S. and Canada.
During the recent Delaware inspection, OSHA inspectors saw overhead boxes fall on an employee and cited Dollar Tree for one willful violation for improperly stored boxes. The violation carries a $70,000 penalty. 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.
In addition, one repeated violation, with a penalty of $33,000, was cited for failure to keep the work area around electrical panels clear. A repeated 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.
View the citations at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DollarTreeStoreInc2220_983776.pdf*
Dollar Tree has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Wilmington Area Office, 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 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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Release Number: 14-2217-PHI (osha 14-102)
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