After several of the outlets of Dollar General in other states were inspected and cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency recently carried out an inspection at the discount retailer’s store in Bolivar, Ohio. The agency reported that, as in the other stores that had already been cited, the primary safety violation was allowing exits to be blocked. Reportedly, this was a recurring violation at this chain store.
Merchandise was found stacked in front of exit doors, jeopardizing the chances of workers and others escaping if a fire should break out in the store. Inspectors also determined that further danger was caused by blocked electrical panels, and the locations of fire extinguishers were not marked. An area director of OSHA said that it would be difficult for any worker to disconnect the electricity, get hold of a fire extinguisher and get out of the store without suffering burns in the event of a fire.
OSHA records show that Dollar General employs approximately 100,000 workers in its over 12,500 stores that are located in 43 states. The federal agency has issued citations for similar safety violations and proposed over $1 million in fines to Dollar General since 2010. OSHA also expressed concern for the manner in which the company disregards the safety of its employees.
Blocked exits are not the only safety violation that threatens retail workers in Ohio. Injuries that are often reported in this industry can also result from inappropriately stacked boxes falling over, random items standing in walkways and more. Money spent on medical bills, hospitalization and lost wages brought about by workplace injuries can be recovered. Benefits claims can be filed with the workers’ compensation insurance program, and many workers choose to seek the support of experienced workers’ comp attorneys to navigate the claims for them.
Source: morgancountyusa.org, “Dollar General Pattern of Blocked Exits Continues with More than One Hundred OSHA Violations Since 2010“, Oct. 10, 2016