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December 17, 2021
Dollar General OSHA fines now exceed $3.3 million

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it has proposed more than $3.3 million in penalties in 54 inspections at Dollar General store locations nationwide since 2016. The agency most recently cited a Mobile, Alabama, store for 3 repeat violations and proposed $321,827 in penalties.

The store’s operator, Dolgencorp LLC, failed to keep the main storeroom orderly to allow safe exit during an emergency, exposed workers to slip and trip hazards and being struck by falling boxes, and prevented access to electrical panels, according to the agency. The agency said that inspections of Dollar General stores typically have found violations that include blocked electrical panels; obstructed exits; and forklift, housekeeping, and sanitation violations.

“Dollar General has a long history of disregarding safety measures to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a fire or other emergency,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary for occupational safety and health, said in an agency statement.

“This company’s troubled history of workplace safety violations must come to an end, and OSHA will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures.”

OSHA cited Dolgencorp for a repeat, serious walking-working surfaces violation at its Mobile store. The agency previously cited Dollar General stores in Galesburg and Milan, Illinois; Kresgeville and Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania; Panama City, Florida; and Sherman, Texas, for similar violations.

OSHA also cited the company for a repeat, serious materials-handling violation. The agency had cited violations of the same standard at stores in Bushnell, Illinois, and Dover, Delaware.

It also cited Dolgencorp for a repeat, serious electrical safety violation, which could be abated by ensuring electrical panels are kept clear of cardboard boxes, merchandise, plastic bins, rolltainers, u-boats, and other items. The agency cited violations of the same standard at Dollar General locations in Carthage, New York; Davenport and Ponce de Leon, Florida; East Prairie, Missouri; North Arlington, New Jersey; and Quarryville and Waterford, Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, OSHA cited Dollar Tree Stores for repeat, serious violations at a Beverly Hills, Florida, store for exposing workers to fire, entrapment, and struck-by hazards; blocked exit routes; and improperly stacked boxes and other materials that might fall and injure workers. The agency proposed $265,265 in penalties in April.

At the time, OSHA said that nationwide inspections of Dollar Tree locations over the previous 5 years had resulted in proposed penalties of more than $9.3 million.

Maintaining clear exit routes is a foundational safety practice, and OSHA has cited employers in the retail trade for blocked exit violations. Last year, the agency reached a settlement agreement with Target Corporation, resolving several exit route citations at stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Dolgencorp LLC, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dollar General Corp. and operates about 17,000 stores and 17 distribution centers in 46 states, according to the agency, as well as employs more than 150,000 workers. The company announced plans in September 2021 to expand to a 47th state, opening its first location in Idaho.

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