December 14, 2022
Risky Business: Dollar General continues to expose employees to workplacedangers with fire, electrical hazards found, this time in Thomasville, Georgia
Blocked emergency exit, electrical panel yields $290K in penalties; over $15M since 2017
THOMASVILLE, GA - Federal workplace safety and health inspectors continue to find workplace hazards, despite levies of more than $15 million in fines since 2017, at Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC facilities exposing their workers to unsafe conditions, this time at a Thomasville, Georgia, retail store.
On June 14, 2022, inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found the Thomasville store had merchandise blocking an electrical panel and the store's only emergency exit door in the area. OSHA issued citations for two repeat violations with $290,054 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspections at 18 stores since February 2022 in Alabama, Florida and Georgia have found dozens of similar violations that present serious risks for employees and others in an emergency, as well as the potential to be struck by unsafely stacked boxes of merchandise in storerooms and elsewhere.
Since 2017, OSHA has cited Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp for numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations related to unsafe conditions in more than 180 inspections nationwide.
"Dollar General has a long history of disregarding safety measures that could compromise the well-being of the people who work there, and that has to change," said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. "The violations cited in these investigations are preventable, and OSHA will make every effort to hold Dollar General accountable for their failures."
OSHA inspections of Dollar General stores in the Southeast in 2022 include the following:
- Seven inspections in Clay, Dothan, Odenville and Town Creek, Alabama; Panama City Beach, Florida; and Darien and West Point, Georgia, identified 31 violations that led to $2,777,640 in penalties in November. These violations are similar to those found at other Dollar General stores where litigation is pending.
- Four inspections in Mobile and Grove Hill, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; and Dewy Rose, Georgia, uncovered numerous hazards for which penalties of $1,682,302 were proposed in October.
- Three inspections in Hogansville, Pembroke and Smyrna, Georgia, found workers exposed to fire, electrical, and entrapment hazards, resulting in proposed penalties of $1,292,783 in August.
- Four inspections in Mobile, Alabama, and Dalton, Georgia, led to $1,048,309 in proposed penalties in February.
Violations issued as the result of these inspections qualified Dollar General for inclusion in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC operate about 18,000 stores and 17 distribution centers in 47 states and employ more than 150,000 workers.
Dollar General has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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Eric R. Lucero, 678-237-0630, email@example.com
Erika Ruthman, 678-237-0630, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 22-2301-ATL