OSHA Proposes $265,000 Fine For Florida Dollar Tree Store For Exposing Employees To Hazardous Working Conditions
On April 20, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a fine of $265,265.00 for a Dollar Tree store in Beverly Hills, FL for repeated labor violations. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. has often found itself in hot water with OSHA for consistently exposing its employees to hazardous working conditions throughout the country.
Citation Information and Proposed Penalties
The Florida store was issued one citation with two violations, which were both marked as “serious” and “repeated” offenses. Specifically, the citation alleged the following information-
1.Violation- 29 CFR 1910.37(a)(3): Exit route(s) were not kept free and unobstructed.
On or about October 23, 2020, Dollar Tree employees were exposed to fire and emergency evacuation hazards in the stock room and retail area. This item also alleged that stationary objects (including boxes, stacked materials, and platform trucks) obstructed the store’s exit routes. The proposed penalty for this item in the citation is $136,532.00.
2. Violation- 29 CFR 1910.176(b): Material stored in tiers was not stacked, blocked, interlocked, or limited in height so that it was stable and secure against sliding and collapse.
On or about October 23, 2020, Dollar Tree employees who were working in the stock room and the sales area of the store were exposed to collapsing or falling material and boxes due to the fact that these items were stored in such a way that they were unstable. The proposed penalty for this item in the citation is $128,733.00.
A Trend of Exposing Employees to Hazardous Working Conditions
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. has a history of committing various labor offenses and exposing employees to hazardous working conditions. In fact, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. has incurred over 9.3 million in proposed penalties from OSHA in the past five years. Since 2018, the proposed penalties from OSHA for the states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee alone have exceeded 1.3 million.
Furthermore, the Florida citation indicates that these violations are repeated offenses because they have recently been committed by other Dollar Tree stores across the country. For instance, the 29 CFR 1910.37(a)(3) violation issued in Florida was alleged to have been committed by one Connecticut store on August 24, 2020, and two separate New Hampshire stores on June 30, 2020. Likewise, the 29 CFR 1910.176(b) violation issued was alleged to have been committed by a Connecticut store on August 24, 2020; a New Hampshire store on June 30, 2020; and a Texas store on April 20, 2015.
OSHA informed the Florida Dollar Tree store that it had 15 business days from the date of the notice to contest the citations and that if it failed to do so, the citations and proposed penalties would become a final order which will not be subject to further review or change. OSHA has also informed the store that these violations must be abated by May 14, 2021.
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