Wal-Mart is in trouble with OSHA again after violating a corporate-wide safety agreement from 2013. The recent violations are from a store in Pensacola, FL.
OSHA found serious health and safety violations at the Florida store, and fined the retail giant $118,000. There were three repeat and two serious safety and health violations, including failure to:
- provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers that were designated to clean up blood spills
- ensure workers understood the symptoms and control measures for Hepatitis B
- maintain unobstructed access to the disconnect box and panel for the baler and trash compactor
- annually train workers designated to clean up blood spills on the dangers of blood-borne pathogens, and
- provide employees with sufficient working space to avoid contact with live electrical wires.
Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in the Jacksonville Office, said in a press release:
“The bloodborne pathogen and safe access violations were previously cited and also covered in the settlement agreement, yet employees are still being exposed to these hazards. It is very frustrating to see that these hazards continue to exist and is a clear indication management is not actively involved in the safety and health program.”
Wal-Mart signed the corporate-wide safety agreement in 2013, which resolved two separate inspections at a store in Rochester, NY. Those inspections resulted in a $190,000 fine. A summary of the settlement was required to be posted in each affected Wal-Mart store.
Under the settlement, Wal-Mart:
- must lock trash compactors when not in use
- may not operate trash compactors except under the supervision of a trained manager or other trained, designated monitor
- improve its hazard communications training
- enhance its procedures to ensure that employees do not handle undiluted chemicals
- ensure that a protective protocol is in place in case of any malfunctions with a store’s cleaning chemicals dispensing equipment, and
- train employees on the new procedures in a language, format, and vocabulary that the workers can understand.
Wal-Mart stores have been inspected by OSHA 330 times in the past five years. That number doesn’t seem that large when you consider Wal-Mart employs more than 1.4 million workers in more than 5,500 stores and clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.