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Dollar General stores facing multiple OSHA violations

Dollar General stores facing multiple OSHA violations

Dollar General Corp. is facing a new series of citations and proposed fines totaling $107,620 from federal workplace safety regulators for repeatedly exposing employees to fire hazards at a Mississippi store.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount retailer for four repeat and one serious safety violation, the agency said in a press release issued on Thursday.

The repeat violations were for exposing workers to fire hazards by blocking emergency exits and fire extinguishers with merchandise and utility carts and for failing to perform annual inspections on fire extinguishers and keep the area around electrical outlets unobstructed, according to the agency. The serious citation was for exposing employees to electrical hazards from missing faceplates on electrical outlets.

OSHA cited the company for the same violations at Brooklyn, Mississippi and West Milford, West Virginia, stores in November 2014, according to the agency. Since November 2010, OSHA has inspected Dollar General stores 55 times and has issued 155 citations for safety violations such as blocked exits and electrical panels and improperly maintained fire extinguishers.

“We are finding violations that have been repeatedly cited at other Dollar General locations throughout the U.S.,” Eugene Stewart, OSHA's area director in the Jackson, Mississippi, office, said in a statement. “The company has failed to implement and verify that the necessary corrective actions have been taken to remove these hazards and protect their workers at these locations. Unfortunately, Dollar General has not made employee safety a priority, leaving its workers unnecessarily exposed to serious injury or death.”

“Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its employees and safe shopping experience for its customers,” the company said in a statement. “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.

“Dollar General has taken immediate actions to address the situation referenced in the OSHA citation at the store in Vaiden, Mississippi, and looks forward to constructive conversations with OSHA regarding this matter.

“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.”

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