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Dollar General fined for blocked emergency doors, electrical boxes

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Dollar General Corp. has been issued fines of $169,000 for safety hazards allegedly found at two of the retailer's West Virginia stores, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said.

The stores in Madison and West Milford, West Virginia, received citations for blocked emergency exit doors and blocked electrical breaker boxes, which made it “unsafe for employees to control lights, coolers and air conditioners,” OSHA said Monday in a statement.

OSHA said Dollar General stores nationwide have been inspected more than 70 times and received more than 40 citations since 2009, including previous citations for blocked exits and electrical panels.

“Dollar General's negligence in protecting employees from these hazards despite the number of times they have been brought to the company's attention is alarming,” Prentice Cline, OSHA area director in Charleston, West Virginia, said in the statement. “It only takes one fire emergency for workers to get hurt or killed because of the company's faulty safety practices. These hazards need to be eliminated immediately to prevent a tragic incident from occurring.”

Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General said in a statement that it “is taking immediate actions to address and remedy cited violations at” the West Virginia stores, as well as to provide safety training for all Dollar General stores in 43 states.

“Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its employees and safe shopping experience for its customers,” the statement says. “As such, Dollar General employs a number of policies, procedures and training programs to continually educate store teams to promote and facilitate a safe and welcoming environment.”