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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-1708-ATL (195)
Date: Sept. 1, 2004
Contact: Johnny Burroughs       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (251) 441-6131       (404) 562-2076


OSHA Cites Mobile Supermarket for Blocking Emergency Exits
Agency Proposes Penalties Totaling $74,000

MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a local Winn Dixie store and proposed $74,000 in penalties for exposing employees to safety hazards.

OSHA began an inspection after receiving a complaint that night-shift employees at the 1550 Government Blvd. store were locked in with no means of exiting the building.

"Employers must assure that employees have ready access to an emergency exit," said Ken Atha, OSHA's Mobile area director. "Medical assistance was delayed to an employee at this store because all exits and entrances were either locked or blocked."

OSHA issued one alleged willful citation to the company, with a proposed penalty of $55,000, for failing to provide night-shift employees with an emergency exit. During a two-week period in January, three emergency exit doors were chained, locked, or barred with a steel rod. Employees were left without keys, tools or information on how to exit the building.

A willful citation is issued when an employer has shown intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The agency issued one alleged repeat citation, with a proposed penalty of $12,500, for failing to keep exit routes unobstructed by material or equipment. The agency issues a repeat citation when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Commission.

The company also received three alleged serious citations, with proposed penalties of $6,500, for failing to provide workers with emergency safety training and designate an employee to assist workers in a safe and orderly evacuation during an emergency.

The company has 15 days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The worksite was inspected by OSHA's Mobile area office; 3737 Government Blvd., Suite 100; phone (251) 441-6131.

OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at <http://www.dol.gov>. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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