hse 3464155 640 1

9 More Inspections, $3.4 Million in New Penalties for Dollar General

25 May, 2023 Liz Carey

hse 3464155 640 1

Washington, DC (WorkersCompensation.com) – The total amount of proposed fines facing Dollar General grew to $21 million Tuesday, May 23, after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced more penalties against the discount chain.

OSHA said nine inspections in four states found that the discount chain exposed workers to unsafe conditions from obstructed exits and fire hazards to electrical hazards. As a result, OSHA proposed $3.4 million in penalties against Dollar General and Dolgencorp. Since 2017, OSHA has proposed more than $21 million in penalties against the company after 240 inspections at stores across the country.

“Dollar General continues to expose its employees to unsafe conditions at its stores across the nation,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a statement. “As one of the nation’s largest retailers, the company must focus its attention on resolving these issues and making corporate-wide changes to protect the safety and well-being of the people they employ.”

The inspections from October, November, and December 2022 were in Maine, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Like previous inspections, investigators found stores with aisles, emergency exits, fire extinguishers and electrical panels blocked by merchandise and other material, as well as conditions that exposed employees to fire, electrical and struck-by hazards, as well as other conditions that violated federal regulations.

In Maine, inspectors responded to a complaint about a store in Enfield, Maine. Inspectors found rolling containers and boxes of merchandise obstructing or completely blocking access to an emergency exit, as well as carts clogging aisles and blocking access to fire extinguishers. Inspectors also found some goods stacked higher than 6 feet in front of and around an electrical panel, and fire extinguishers that had not been inspected monthly.

DG Retail LLC, the store’s operator, was cited for five repeat violations and $321,419 in new penalties.

In North Dakota, inspectors were alerted by state fire marshals about conditions at four stores, while complaints brought two others under scrutiny. Inspectors found violations at stores in Casselton, Garrison, Hillsboro, Killdeer, Minot and Tioga, N.D., including violations for blocked exit routes, blocked doors, blocked fire extinguishers and blocked electrical panels, as well as unsafely stacked merchandise.

In Minot, N.D., inspectors discovered that at least six employees were exposed to toxic vapors and at least three of them sought medical treatment. In that incident several chemical containers ruptured leading to their contents mixing. OSHA cited the store for not providing respiratory protection and personal protective equipment to employees. The store was also cited for failing to train employees how to handle hazardous chemicals safely and clean them up.

The inspectors identified 32 violations over a two-month period of inspections and proposed $2.5 million in penalties.

In Ohio, inspectors at a Dollar General store in Kettering found exit routes, fire extinguishers and electrical panels blocked. The agency cited the store for three repeat violations for fire and electrical hazards and proposed $270,116 in penalties.

And in Wisconsin, inspectors responded to a complaint of unsafe working conditions at a Kewaunee, and found merchandise blocking exit routes, fire extinguishers and electrical panels. The store was cited for four repeat and four willful violations for unsafe electrical cords, uninspected fire extinguishers, crushing hazards and conditions that prevented employees from exiting the store safely in an emergency. The agency proposed $367,216 in penalties.

This round of violations is the latest in a history of violations that placed Dollar General Corp. in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Inclusion in the program puts the company under a microscope with more frequent inspections and increased awareness of the enforcement actions at the corporate level with corporate-wide agreements, enhanced settlement provisions and federal court enforcement.

Based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC run an estimated 19,000 stores and 28 distribution centers in 47 states, and employ more than 173,000 workers. In fiscal year 2022, the company reported more than $9 billion in net sales, meaning the total penalties proposed since 2017 represent about three hours of net sales for the company.

Dollar General has 15 business days to comply with the inspectors’ findings, or it can request an informal conference with the agency's area director, or contest the findings before an independent review commission.

  • AI california case management case management focus claims cms compensability compliance conferences courts covid do you know the rule exclusive remedy florida FMLA glossary check health care Healthcare iowa leadership medical medicare minnesota NCCI new jersey new york ohio osha pennsylvania Safety state info technology tennessee texas violence virginia WDYT west virginia what do you think women's history month workers' comp 101 workers' recovery workers' compensation contact information Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

  • Read Also

    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

    Read More

    Request a Demo

    To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.