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Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. has once again been cited and is facing $105,600 in proposed fines by federal workplace safety regulators for hazards such as blocked exits at stores in Kansas.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based retailer's Kansas unit for hazards found at stores in Wichita and Clay Center, according to a news release issued by the agency on Tuesday.
In March, an inspector found blocked exit routes and materials stored near electrical panels at the Wichita location — hazards exposing workers to fire and electrical hazards — and cited the store for two repeat violations with proposed penalties of $88,000.
In June, an inspection at the Clay Center store found five serious violations and one other-than-serious violation and proposed penalties of $17,600 after finding workers exposed to electrical, fall and trip hazards, according to the release.
Since 2010, OSHA has found more than 100 safety and health violations at the company's stores nationwide.
“In an emergency, blocked exits can be the difference between life and death,” Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita, said in a statement. “Piling up merchandise and blocking exit routes puts workers and customers at risk. Dollar General has been cited repeatedly for these hazards at its stores nationwide. The company must immediately address these hazards before tragedy strikes.”
“Dollar General remains committed to providing a safe environment for our employees to work and customers to shop,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We have taken immediate actions in our Kansas stores to address situations referenced by OSHA and look forward to constructive conversations with them regarding these matters. Further, we are working with store teams to ensure that the company's expectations regarding employee and customer safety are clearly communicated, understood and implemented.”
A North Dakota grain facility has been cited and is facing proposed penalties of $104,300 after a 36-year-old employee was hospitalized after being injured on the job.