March 16, 2016
Safety, health hazards at Florida Walmart Supercenter
violate corporate-wide safety agreement
Global retailer failed to protect employees from serious hazards; provide safety training
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Walmart continues to endanger the safety and health of its employees despite a 2013 corporate-wide settlement agreement* with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve safety and health conditions at all of its store locations.
In its agreement with OSHA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. allows the agency to conduct health-monitoring inspections to protect company employees from workplace hazards. One of the world's largest retailers, Walmart has store locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and 27 countries.
In an inspection of the Walmart Supercenter on Mobile Highway, OSHA officials found serious health violations. On March 15, the agency issued citations to the employer for three repeated and two serious violations. Proposed penalties total $118,800.
The repeated citations relate to the employer not:
- Providing Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers that were designated to clean up blood spills.
- Ensuring workers understood the symptoms and control measures for Hepatitis B.
- Failing to maintain unobstructed access to the disconnect box and panel for the baler and trash compactor. OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2013 at a New York location.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:
- Annually train workers designated to clean up blood spills on the dangers of blood-borne pathogens.
- Provide employees with sufficient working space to avoid contact with live electrical wires.
- Protect them from exposure to shock and burn hazards.
"The blood-borne pathogen and safe access violations were previously cited and also covered in the settlement agreement, yet employees are still being exposed to these hazards," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in the Jacksonville Office. "It is very frustrating to see that these hazards continue to exist and is a clear indication management is not actively involved in the safety and health program."
To view current citations, visit: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/WalMart_1093171_03152016.pdf*
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has had more than 330 OSHA inspections within the past five years. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company employs more than 1.4 million workers in more than 5,500 stores and clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The retailer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.
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Release Number: 16-400-ATL (61)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.