Wal-Mart Stores, OSHA Reach Corporate-Wide Settlement

The settlement resolves two enforcement cases and applies to all 2,857 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in OSHA's jurisdiction.

OSHA announced Aug. 7 it has reached a corporate-wide settlement agreement with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which agrees to improve safety and health conditions in all 2,857 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores under federal jurisdiction. The settlement resolves two enforcement cases that began in 2011 and calls for the retailer to enhance safety and health practices and training related to trash compactors, cleaning chemicals, and Hazard Communications.

"This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Wal-Mart workers safe and healthy on the job," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "We hope this sends a strong message that the law requires employers to provide safe working conditions and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law."

The settlement specifies that trash compactors must remain locked while not in use and may not be operated except while under the supervision of a trained manager or another trained, designated monitor. Wal-Mart will strengthen its procedures to ensure employees do not handle undiluted cleaning chemicals and will ensure a protective protocol is in place for possible malfunctions with a store's cleaning chemicals dispensing equipment.

OSHA's announcement said the settlement affirms a repeat lockout/tagout citation, two serious lockout/tagout citations, two serious confined space citations, and one serious machine guarding citation, as well as two serious health citations related to PPE and two serious HazCom citations.

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