Penalties mount: Fined more than $15M since 2017, familiar Dollar General safety failures in 3 inspections in Florida, Alabama, add $387K more
ATLANTA – Just weeks after being cited with federal safety violations, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC have once again exposed workers to unsafe conditions, this time at two store locations in Florida and another in Alabama.
On June 26, 2022, inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found stores in Middleburg and Green Cove Springs, Florida, had merchandise blocking exit routes, exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards. OSHA issued citations for two repeat violations, with $196,438 in proposed penalties.
Less than a month later – on July 13, 2022 – OSHA inspectors again found merchandise blocking exit routes at a Dollar General store, this time in Double Springs, Alabama. They found the company allowed boxes and merchandise to be stockpiled in an unstable manner, exposing workers to struck-by hazards. OSHA issued citations for two repeat violations, with $205,117 in proposed penalties.
In the past 11 months, OSHA inspections at 19 stores in Alabama, Florida and Georgia have identified dozens of similar violations. These types of hazards present serious risks for employees and others in an emergency, as well as the potential for them to be struck by unsafely stacked boxes in storerooms and elsewhere.
Since 2017, OSHA has issued more than $15 million in fines and 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’s growing record of disregard for safety measures makes it abundantly clear that the company puts profit before people,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “These violations are preventable, and failing to prevent them shows a blatant disregard for the workers on whom they depend to keep their stores operating. OSHA continues to make every effort to hold Dollar General accountable for its 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 more than $2.7 million 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. Penalties of more than $1.6 million 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 more than $1.2 million in August.
- Four inspections in Mobile, Alabama, and Dalton, Georgia, led to more than $1 million in proposed penalties in February.
- One inspection in Thomasville, Georgia, found merchandise blocking an electrical panel and the store’s only emergency exit door in the area, resulting in $290,054 in proposed penalties.
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.