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Target Corp. has agreed to correct exit access and storage hazards at 200 stores to improve worker safety as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the federal agency announced Monday.
Between May and December 2019, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to eight Target stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York for violations including blocked or obstructed emergency exits and fire exit routes and unsafe storage of materials in backrooms.
Target initially contested the fine. As part of the settlement, the Minneapolis-based retailer will pay $464,750 in penalties and agree to abate exit path and storage safety issues at all Target stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York for the next two years.
Target has also agreed to build on its existing safety programs by authorizing store managers to delay delivery of inventory if needed to ensure safe egress conditions, assist in the acquisition of additional storage capacity if needed, conduct surveillance monitoring of egress conditions at high-risk stores, retrain all affected employees on egress issues, have outside managers monitor egress conditions at each store at least twice a year and annually hire a third party to conduct an audit of egress safety at each store.
The settlement is expected to be finalized in November.
A Target spokeswoman said in an email Wednesday that the retailer was already working to address underlying safety concerns before OSHA reached out in 2018.
“We’ll continue to invest in the technology, tools and processes that keep our stores safe and are glad we could work with OSHA to resolve this issue,” she said.
(Reuters) — Target Corp., Walmart Inc. and toy importer LaRose Industries LLC were sued on Thursday over the sale of lead-contaminated children's toys, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said.