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Dollar General Issued Proposed Penalties of Over $2.7M After Recent Inspections
Dollar General, which has a history of OSHA citations, and Dolgencorp LLC received 31 citations and proposed penalties after recent inspections in the southeast. This announcement from OSHA falls just weeks after the agency issued the discount retailer four willful and 10 repeat violations for previous inspections.
According to a November news release partly titled “Profit Over People,” after seven inspections from April 28 to June 3, 2022, across Alabama, Georgia and Florida, OSHA cited Dollar General and Dolgencorp LLC for “struck-by and blocked exit hazards” and
- “Failing to label, mount, or make fire extinguishers accessible.
- Storing boxes in front of electrical panels, increasing the risk of fire and electrical hazards.
- Failing to use exit signs to facilitate safe egress in the event of an emergency.
- Exposing workers to electrocution by not keeping unused openings in electrical cabinets closed.
- Not providing handrails on stairs where required.”
Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC were cited for 11 willful, 16 repeat and four serious violations along with proposed penalties of $2,777,640. This brings Dollar General and Dolgencorp LLC proposed penalties since 2017 up to over $12.3 million.
According to OSHA, Dollar General qualifies for the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Not the First of its Kind
The violations identified at these recent inspections are similar to those found at other Dollar General locations in the past.
Most recently, in October of this year, OSHA cited Dollar General after inspections in Alabama, Florida and Georgia for four willful violations, 10 repeat violations and proposed penalties of $1,680,216 for a locked exit door, fire extinguishers that were not mounted and blocked electrical panels, among other violations.
In August, Dollar General was cited following the inspection of three stores in Georgia. The company received four willful and seven repeat violations and proposed penalties totaled $1,292,783 for unclean receiving areas, unsafe stacked boxes and blocked “exit route and electrical panels,” according to an August news release.
In July, exit route hazards at a Pennsylvania store landed Dollar General in deep waters again. The same store had been cited for similar citations one year before. OSHA cited the company for two repeat violations and proposed penalties of $136,741.
One month before, two stores, one in Wisconsin and one in Ohio, were cited for locking emergency exits. At the Wisconsin store, OSHA inspectors found emergency exits padlocked from the inside with a “bike lock and a board,” a June news release said; and at the Ohio store, inspectors found an emergency exit locked on the inside with barrel locks. OSHA cited the Wisconsin location for four willful violations and proposed penalties of $435,081. The Ohio location was cited for one willful violation and proposed penalties of $145,027.
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Dollar General as one of the “dirty dozen” employers earlier this year.
“Dollar General has shown a pattern of alarmingly willful disregard for federal safety standards, choosing to place profits over their employees’ safety and well-being,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in the November news release. “Neighborhood stores exist to support the needs of their communities—the same communities in which many Dollar General employees live—and that support must include following laws designed to keep workers safe from preventable injuries or worse.”
Photo credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com
Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.