Federal workplace safety inspection at Dollar General store in Austin finds company again exposing employees to fire, other safety hazards
AUSTIN, TX – A federal investigation has found that, despite more than $21 million in penalties since 2017 for workplace safety failures, Dollar General continued to expose employees at an Austin store on East Rundberg Lane to the risks of blocked exits and fire extinguishers not maintained or mounted as required.
Following an inspection opened in January 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC — one of the nation’s largest discount retail chains — for two serious and two repeat violations, and proposed penalties of $298,685.
“Far too often, our inspections at Dollar General stores find exits and pathways blocked by boxes of merchandise, rolling carts and other materials endangering the safety of employees,” said OSHA Area Director Monica Munoz in Austin, Texas. “The company must take immediate action to correct hazards that can prevent workers from exiting quickly during an emergency.”
Since 2017, OSHA has cited Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC in 240 inspections.
OSHA’s findings in Austin are similar to those found by agency inspectors at Dollar General stores around the nation. Recently, the agency proposed nearly $10 million in penalties after more than 30 investigations between Feb. 1, 2022 and April 20, 2023, in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. In 2022, the agency added Dollar General to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which includes employers who have shown an 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.