POOLER, GA – Following a workplace safety inspection, federal investigators determined a Pooler location of a national discount retailer stacked and stored merchandise unsafely, exposing workers to struck-by hazards from falling boxes and preventing them from exiting the store quickly in an emergency.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to TJX Companies Inc., the Massachusetts-based operator of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and other department stores, for exposing workers to fire, entrapment and struck-by hazards. Inspectors found blocked exit routes and unstable merchandise storage at a T.J. Maxx Store in Pooler, in violation of federal workplace safety standards.

OSHA also found the company failed to keep the storage and receiving room free from an excess number of cardboard boxes and other trash, which exposed workers to slip, trip and fall hazards.

The inspection identified two repeat violations and one serious violation. OSHA proposed $239,290 in penalties. 

“The U.S. Department of Labor will not allow employers like TJX Companies Inc. to put their workers at risk by repeatedly violating federal safety standards,” said OSHA Acting Area Office Director Jerred Stevens in Savannah. “These standards exist to protect workers from needless harm during their routine workday, especially in an emergency. The hazards often found in busy retail stores are easily addressed but, left ignored, they can jeopardize workers.”

OSHA cited T.J. Maxx for similar violations at a store in Peoria, Illinois, in January 2022, and in Jacksonville, Florida, in a May 2020 inspection.

Based in Framingham, Massachusetts, the TJX Companies Inc. operates off-price apparel and home fashion stores under the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra and HomeSense banners. The company operates about 4,700 stores and employs 340,000 workers.

The employer 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.

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