Discounter Dollar General faces a new round of fines, this time more than $1.6 million, due to workplace safety violations identified by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, the agency announced this week.
Since 2017, Dollar General has received more than $9.6 million in OSHA penalties, including nearly $1.3 million in proposed fines levied against the company in August.
In the latest case, OSHA conducted inspections in April in Mobile and Grove Hill, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; and Dewy Rose, Georgia. Inspectors found four “willful” and 10 repeat violations at the stores for failing to keep receiving and storage areas clean and orderly, and stacking materials in an unsafe manner.
“These violations exposed workers to hazards associated with slips, trips and being struck by objects,” the agency said in a statement.
Dollar General stores were also cited for exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards by failing to keep exit routes and electrical panels clear and unobstructed. The stores were also fined for failing to mount and label fire extinguishers and having a locked exit door that required a key to open, OSHA said.
“Once again, our inspectors have found Dollar General stores ignoring federal safety standards and exposing their employees to hazardous working conditions in violation of the law,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a statement. “We will use our full enforcement powers to hold Dollar General accountable for its ongoing pattern of behavior until they show that they take worker safety seriously.”
Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General has 15 days from the receipt of OSHA’s citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings, the agency said.
The discounter has made a big push into the grocery space recently and now sells fresh fruits, vegetables and meat in about 2,700 of its more than 18,000 stores nationwide.
On Monday, Dollar General announced the opening of a DG Market store in rural Winchester, Illinois. The retailer’s market concept sells the top 20 items sold in traditional grocery stores, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, apples, strawberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemons, limes, salad mixes and more, the company has said.