Dollar Tree and OSHA have reached an agreement to settle 13 inspections at the retailer’s stores for $825,000. The agreement includes pages of specifics on how Dollar Tree will change its safety program.
The corporate-wide settlement affects Dollar Tree stores nationwide in federal OSHA states. State OSHAs are encouraged to also honor the settlement’s requirements.
Inspections uncovered a pattern of violations, including:
- blocked emergency exits
- obstructed access to exit routes
- improper material storage, and
- electrical hazards.
The two-year agreement requires Dollar Tree to:
- develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program that incorporates “management commitment, employee participation, hazard identification and control, education and training for employees and managers, and program evaluation”
- publish a safety newsletter at least quarterly
- allow a third-party monitor to audit 50 stores and share results with store managers who must correct issues within three weeks
- conduct its own internal store safety inspections
- encourage employees to use a new, toll-free number for anonymously reporting safety and health issues
- prohibit stacking or storing materials or equipment in ways that would block access to emergency exits and electrical equipment
- require routes to emergency exits and electrical equipment be at least 28 inches wide
- use brightly colored lines on stock room floors to designate aisles
- review delivery and unloading systems to ensure placement of received merchandise and materials in designated storage or sales areas that don’t obstruct access to exits and electrical equipment or create storage hazards
- have adequate staffing to move materials during deliveries
- abate the hazards cited in the 13 inspections by specified dates
- conduct immediate safety training for employees at its stores
- maintain safety training records
- provide safety retraining when problems are found
- appoint a corporate contact person to deal with OSHA, and
- file annual compliance reports to OSHA.
OSHA maintains the right to issues failure-to-abate citations if hazards aren’t properly corrected.
“This resolution with Dollar Tree expresses the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to seek and obtain compliance with the worker safety and health laws we enforce at all locations of a multi-establishment enterprise,” said Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith.
Dollar Tree owns 2,400 stores across the U.S. The company hasn’t issued a statement on the settlement.