Walmart sign in white letters on blue building

Federal Panel Affirms Walmart’s Citation Stemming from 2017 Incident

Walmart was cited after an employee was injured in a warehouse nearly six years ago.

After years of litigation, an OSHA citation for Walmart—issued after a 2017 incident—has been affirmed, according to the agency.

In 2017, an investigation into a February 2017 incident led OSHA to cite Walmart Inc. for failing to adhere to OSHA standard 29 C.F.R. § 1910.176(b) on secure storage, per the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit docket, but the global retailer challenged the citation.

In a Johnstown, New York Walmart warehouse, a forklift operator hit a pallet that contained stacked merchandise, according to a news release. One of the packages fell, hitting the head and neck of another employee, who sustained injuries. The docket states that the item fell from a height of approximately 40 feet.

Walmart said that “the standard did not apply to the pallets Walmart used in its racking system,” but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit later decided that it did apply.

On Feb. 9, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed OSHA’s original citations and required the hazards to be fixed. This decision can still be appealed.

Across the globe, nearly 2.3 million people work for Walmart.

Photo credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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