ATLANTA – A series of federal workplace safety and health inspections at four Dollar General stores in Alabama and Georgia in the summer of 2021 found the nationwide discount retailer’s long history of exposing employees to dangerous working conditions continues.
Since 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed more than $3.6 million in penalties in 55 inspections at Dollar General locations nationwide. OSHA inspections of the retail stores consistently reveal employee exposure to hazards associated with obstructed exit routes, unstable stacking and blocked working space around electrical panels. These violations represent hazardous and unsafe conditions and place workers at risk of injury.
In August 2021, following inspections at three Mobile stores – Stores 6556, 8083 and 13064 – OSHA inspectors identified five willful violations for failing to keep receiving areas clean and orderly and stacking materials in an unsafe manner – hazards which expose workers to slips, trips and being struck-by objects. The employer also exposed workers to fire hazards by failing to keep exit routes and workspaces around electrical panels clear. As a result of the three Mobile inspections, OSHA proposed $683,680 in penalties.
In Dalton, Georgia, during another August 2021 inspection, OSHA issued citations to Dollar General Store 18688 for two willful and one repeat violations. There, investigators found similar violations. OSHA proposed $364,629 in penalties.
“Dollar General’s long and extensive history of workplace safety violations and repeated failures to protect its workers shows willful recklessness,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “Their blatant and continued disregard for the safety of their employees must come to an end. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures.”
Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dolgencorp LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dollar General Corp. and operates about 17,000 stores and 17 distribution centers around the nation, and employs more than 150,000 workers.
Dollar General 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.