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Dollar General violates workplace safety standards again

The outside of a Greenback Normal comfort retailer is seen on March 16, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Photos

Dollar General has once more been present in violation of federal office security rules for “willfully exposing” employees to fireplace hazards at a Pennsylvania retailer, the Division of Labor stated Friday. 

Investigators discovered “harmful security hazards,” together with blocked emergency exit routes and electrical panels, at a Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, retailer throughout a November inspection that was sparked by a grievance made to the Occupational Security and Well being Administration. 

The hazards have been much like violations discovered at different shops operated by the discounter all through the U.S., and the inspection is considered one of greater than 180 investigations wherein OSHA has discovered Greenback Normal to be jeopardizing employee security, the DOL stated. 

In response, a Greenback Normal spokesperson informed CNBC they “recurrently assessment and refine our security packages, and reinforce them by means of coaching, ongoing communication, recognition and accountability.”

“After we study of conditions the place we’ve didn’t stay as much as this dedication, we work to well timed tackle the difficulty and make sure that the corporate’s expectations relating to security are clearly communicated, understood and applied,” the spokesperson added. 

The corporate, which operates roughly 18,000 shops throughout the nation and employs greater than 150,000 employees, has been fined $15 million for security violations since 2017 and “continues to defy federal office security necessities” regardless of repeated penalties, the company stated. 

“Exposing staff to those hazards might be harmful, particularly in an emergency,” OSHA Space Director Mary Reynolds stated in a press release. “Greenback Normal Corp. has a considerable historical past of the identical violations and hazards discovered at shops throughout the U.S. They have to finish their repeated failures to appropriate these violations earlier than an emergency turns tragic.”

Simply final week, OSHA stated Greenback Normal was in settlement talks with federal regulators after the retailer was labeled a “extreme violator” of office security guidelines. Greenback Normal was the primary firm to be added to the “extreme violators” checklist final fall after OSHA expanded the attain of considered one of its longstanding security enforcement packages.

For the problems on the Pennsylvania retailer, OSHA issued a quotation for one willful violation and one repeat violation with $245,544 in proposed penalties, however the fines are unlikely to have a serious impression on the retailer’s steadiness sheet. 

In fiscal 2022, which ended Feb. 3, Greenback Normal reported $37.84 billion in gross sales and a internet earnings of $2.41 billion. 

The corporate has 15 enterprise days to both pay the fines, request an off-the-cuff convention with OSHA’s space director or contest the findings earlier than the unbiased Occupational Security and Well being Assessment Fee.

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