June 5, 2023
US Department of Labor finds Dollar General in West Texas exposing employees to fire hazards, other concerns
National discounter faces more than $21M in penalties since 2017
LAMESA, TX – A federal workplace safety inspection at another Dollar General store, this time in Lamesa, found exit routes and walkways blocked and merchandise unsafely stacked, conditions that exposed employees and others to fire hazards and struck-by injuries that have been common cause for violations at the company's stores across the country.
Since 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC, operators of one of the nation's largest discount retail chains, in more than 240 inspections and proposed penalties of more than $21 million.
"Dollar General's pattern of blocking emergency exits and pathways with boxes of merchandise, rolling carts and other materials jeopardizes the safety of everyone in their stores," said OSHA Area Director Elizabeth Linda Routh in Lubbock, Texas. "Poor housekeeping can lead employees to suffer needless injuries and make it hard to exit the store quickly in a crisis. These conditions must be corrected immediately."
OSHA issued citations to Dollar General for four repeat violations and proposed $294,646 in penalties after its inspection in Lamesa in December 2022.
The findings in Lamesa are similar to those found at many of the company's stores in recent years. Most recently, OSHA proposed nearly $4.5 million in penalties following inspections in Alabama, Florida, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin done from October through December 2022.
In 2022, OSHA added Dollar General to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which concentrates resources on inspecting employers cited for willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations and for showing indifference to their legal obligations to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
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.
Release Number: 23-1199-DAL