U.S. Department of Labor Cites Idaho Dollar Tree Stores After Finding Widespread Storage Violations
BOISE, ID – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Dollar Tree Stores at four Idaho locations for exposing employees to unsafe storage of merchandise, and blocked walkways and exit routes. The company faces $898,682 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspectors initially responded to a complaint alleging that a Dollar Tree store in Boise was exposing employees to unstable stacks and piles of boxes in the store’s stockroom. Soon after, OSHA received another complaint alleging similarly unsafe conditions at Dollar Tree locations in Caldwell, Nampa and Meridian.
At the four stores, inspectors found boxes stacked improperly, often with heavier boxes on top of lighter ones, and blocked aisles and exit routes. In one store, inspectors found an employee who suffered injury and needed help after boxes fell on them. While an inspector shot video of conditions during another inspection, a stack of boxes fell and nearly injured an employee. During their investigation, inspectors learned that falling boxes had injured other employees.
OSHA cited Dollar Tree for violations related to blocked aisles and exit routes, unsafe storage and stacking of boxes, blocked electrical panels, improper use of a ladder, and exposing workers to falls from heights. The citations can be viewed here.
“Dollar Tree Stores has a history of exposing their employees to safety and health hazards,” said Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. “Improper storage of merchandise creates unnecessary risks for employees, while blocked exits pose serious risks to the safety of employees and customers in an emergency.”
OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs includes information on how to identify and assess hazards in the workplace.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.
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 help 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.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.