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OSHA cites Dollar General store in Texas for safety violations

Posted On: Jan. 5, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Dollar General Corp. is facing another set of citations and proposed fines by federal regulators for workplace safety violations, this time at a Texas store.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount retailer for two willful violations for failing to keep exit routes clear and unobstructed and for failing to keep working space clear around the electrical panel of the Sherman, Texas store, according to an agency statement issued Monday.

Dollar General was cited for two repeat violations for failing to keep the store aisles clean and clear and ensuring that portable fire extinguishers were mounted and accessible. The company was also cited for a serious violation for failing to clearly mark an exit route, according to the news release.

The citations carry proposed penalties of $162,800, according to the statement.

“Dollar General stores nationwide have repeatedly been cited for exposing their workers to hazards posed by overstocking issues, while promising time and again to take corrective action, yet workers continue to be exposed to unnecessary hazards,” Josh Bernstein, OSHA's acting area director in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a statement. “It is the employer's responsibility to find and fix these hazards, and OSHA will continue to hold this employer accountable.”

The company responded in a statement that “Dollar General has taken immediate actions to address the situation referenced in the OSHA citation at the store in Sherman, Texas, and looks forward to constructive conversations with OSHA regarding this matter.”

OSHA has received complaints from Dollar General's employees in 21 states since 2006 and has cited the company for 240 safety violations, including numerous willful and repeat violations during this same time period, according to the agency.

In November 2015, OSHA cited and proposed more than $113,000 in fines for workplace safety violations at a Dollar General store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, including hazards caused by a bolted and blocked exit and low light conditions for exits.

In September 2015, the agency proposed $169,000 in fines for safety hazards at two of the retailer's West Virginia stores, according to OSHA.

“Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its employees and safe shopping experience for its customers. The company employs a number of policies, procedures and training programs designed to ensure store managers and their teams understand the necessary steps to create and maintain a safe work and shopping environment," the company statement said.

“Dollar General will continue to work with its store teams to ensure that the company's expectations regarding employee and customer safety are clearly communicated, understood and implemented."