OSHA Fined Discount Retailer $3.3M

OSHA Cited Discount Retailer $3.3M Penalties

MOBILE, AL – As the nation’s largest discount retailer, Dollar General stores are widely available in 46 states for their low-price merchandise. Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dolgencorp LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dollar General Corporations. It operates about 17,000 stores and 17 distribution centers around the nation and employs more than 150,000 workers. In September 2021, the company announced plans to open its first Idaho store and expand its presence to 47 states. However, the company has a long history of violations and repeated failures to protect its workers from on-the-job hazards. Since 2016, OSHA has proposed more than $3.3 million in penalties from over 54 inspections at Dollar General locations nationwide.

The Company Faces $321K in Penalties After Recent Alabama Inspection

In June 2021, an OSHA inspection at the retailer’s Alabama store found the main storeroom too disorderly to allow a safe exit during an emergency. Additionally, workers were exposed to slip and trip hazards, the dangers of being struck by falling boxes, and the lack of access to electrical panels. As a result, OSHA identified three repeat violations in this inspection and proposed $321,827 in penalties.

“Dollar General has a long history of disregarding safety measures to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a fire or other emergency. This company’s troubled history of workplace safety violations must end. OSHA will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures,” said Assistant Secretary for OSHA Doug Parker.

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance.

Key Takeaways

In summary, the risk is available in any workplace; however, to avoid becoming complacent with health and safety procedures is essential. Scheduling regular workplace health and safety training can positively influence an organization’s efficiency, productivity and save lives. A safe work environment helps employers build a good relationship with their employees and supports businesses in achieving higher recognition.

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Moving Parts Injure 2 at AL Packaging Plant

Mobile, AL – OSHA has issued fines of over $75,000 to an Alabama packaging manufacturer for failing to protect employees from the hazards of moving parts. Ampac Mobile Holdings LLC (operating as ProAmpac) was found to have been exposing employees to caught-in and struck-by hazards at their Mobile (AL) facility. Federal workplace safety investigators are charging $75,156 in penalties for inadequate machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures violations.

OSHA was alerted to the Ampac/ProAmpac facility after an employee suffered a severe hand injury as a result of getting caught in a piece of equipment. In a moving partsseparate accident, an Ampac employee’s finger was lacerated when struck by moving machine parts.

In the course of their investigation, OSHA determined that Ampac failed to use proper machine guarding measures, and failed to control hazardous energy by implementing effective lockout/tagout procedures.

Unfortunately, these two accidents could have been prevented. As OSHA’s Acting Mobile Area Office Director stated, “A comprehensive safety and health program, includ[ing] an evaluation and correction for amputation hazards, could have identified and prevented these injuries.”

An estimated 3 million American workers service equipment in the course of their jobs. These employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not effectively implemented. Compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents approximately 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Additionally, it has been estimated that workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.

For these reasons and more, please contact a Lockout and Machine Safety Expert at Martin Technical today if you have any concerns about the safety of equipment and employees at your facility.

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