Published Date: 11/17/2014
By George Ports
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited national discount chain Dollar Tree Stores Inc. for willfully and repeatedly exposing employees to serious hazards at its store in Watauga, Texas. Dollar Tree Stores have been cited nationwide for more than 200 safety and health violations since 2009. Proposed penalties for the latest inspection total $262,500. According to Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, the agency has issued more than $800,000 in fines to Dollar Tree Stores in the past five months for similar violations to those at the Watauga store.
At the Watauga store two willful violations, with a penalty of $130,500, were cited for failing to ensure exit doors were kept clear and unobstructed, and that products were stored in a stable and secure manner. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Four repeat violations, carrying a penalty of $132,000, were cited for failing to keep passageways clean and clear and to secure compressed gas cylinders and prevent blocking of portable fire extinguishers and electrical panels. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.