Federal workplace safety inspectors found a number of workplace safety violations after visiting three Dollar General stores in Georgia this year. Infractions included exit routes obstructed, boxes of merchandise stacked unsafely and electrical panels that were hard to access, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.
As a result of the inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed nearly $1.3 million in penalties to the retailer.
“Dollar General continues to demonstrate a willful pattern of ignoring hazardous working conditions and a disregard for the well-being of its employees,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Doug Parker, said in a statement.
OSHA has proposed over $6.5 million in penalties after 78 inspections at Dollar General locations nationwide since 2017.
“OSHA conducted inspections in three Georgia stores in February and March 2022 and identified store conditions that were not in keeping with our standards and expectations,” Dollar General said in an emailed statement to Retail Dive. “Following these inspections, we took immediate action to address issues and reiterated our safety expectations with store teams. The safety of our employees and customers is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to work cooperatively with OSHA. “
Earlier in the summer, OSHA proposed a $136,741 fine against a Dollar General store in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, for repeatedly blocking and constricting exit routes.
“Despite similar citations and sizable penalties in more than 70 inspections, the company refuses to change its business practices. OSHA will take all necessary enforcement actions and pursue all available remedies against Dollar General until it fixes the disconnect between its business model and worker safety,” Parker said in a statement. “Dollar General continues to make it obvious that profit means more to them than the safety of their employees.”
In June, Dollar General named 11 people to executive positions, including eight new vice presidents who handle roles in distribution, store operations, merchandising, human resources and information technology. The retailer plans to add 1,110 new stores to its portfolio of over 18,000 stores.