OSHA News Release: [06/05/2014]
Contact Name: Jose A. Carnevali
Phone Number: (415) 625-2631
Release Number: 14-1017-MON
US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Dollar Tree $217,000 for willfully putting Missoula workers at risk
BILLINGS, Mont. National discount chain Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Montana for repeatedly and willfully exposing workers to safety hazards. OSHA began its inspection in November 2013 after receiving a complaint about dangerous conditions at a store located in Missoula.
"This employer's extensive history of ignoring basic safety standards establishes a clear pattern of intentional and complete disregard for employee safety," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in Billings. "Employers have an obligation to keep their workers safe, and Dollar Tree keeps failing to do that."
OSHA cited Dollar Tree Stores with four violations of safety standards, including three willful and one repeat, with proposed penalties totaling $217,000. The willful violations involve the employer's failure to keep exit routes free and unobstructed, storing materials in unstable and unsecured ways and for using space around electrical equipment for storage. 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.
The company was cited with one repeat violation for failure to handle and store compressed helium gas cylinders securely. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA has cited Dollar Tree Stores for this exact violation at several stores throughout the country. In addition, OSHA's area office in Wilmington, Del., cited Dollar Tree Stores in April with three similar willful safety violations, with penalties totaling $143,000.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Dollar_Tree_Stores_Inc_951864_0605_14.pdf
Dollar Tree Stores is a national retailer with thousands of stores in shopping centers and malls throughout the U.S. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director, 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 Billings Area Office at 406-247-7494.
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.