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OSHA cites discount retailer for repeat violations; proposes $136,741 in penalties

GREENCASTLE, PA – For the second time in a year, the U.S. Department of Labor has cited a Dollar General store in Greencastle for endangering its workers’ safety and continuing the nationwide discount chain’s long history of federal workplace safety violations and penalties.

In response to a complaint, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection at the store on Dec. 28, 2021, and found conditions similar to those for which the company has received numerous violations at locations throughout the country.

Specifically, OSHA found the Greencastle store staged excessive amounts of merchandise in aisleways and in the stockroom. The agency cited the store with two repeat violations for blocked and constricted exit routes. The store received citations for these same hazards in June 2021. OSHA proposes $136,741 in penalties.

“Preventing employees from freely, safely and quickly exiting a workplace in an emergency can lead to serious injuries or worse,” said OSHA Area Director Kevin T. Chambers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Dollar General Corp. has a substantial history of the same violations and hazards found at its stores all over the country. Their repeated failures to correct these violations must end before an emergency leads to a tragedy.”

Since 2017, OSHA has issued numerous repeat and willful citations at Dollar General locations nationwide. Inspectors routinely identify violations related to obstructed exit routes and blocked portable fire extinguishers and electrical panels. On several occasions, Dollar General Corp.’s Director of Risk Management, Adam Zager, has signed settlement agreements with OSHA, promising on behalf of the company to resolve similar violations at its stores.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 690,000 retail industry workers quit their jobs and industry employers coped with 1.1 million projected job openings in April 2022.

Founded in 1939, the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General Corp. operates more than 18,000 stores in 46 states.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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