Dollar General violates workplace safety standards again

The outside of a Greenback Common comfort retailer is seen on March 16, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Photos

Greenback Common has once more been present in violation of federal office security laws for “willfully exposing” employees to fireplace hazards at a Pennsylvania retailer, the Division of Labor mentioned Friday. 

Investigators discovered “harmful security hazards,” together with blocked emergency exit routes and electrical panels, at a Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, retailer throughout a November inspection that was sparked by a grievance made to the Occupational Security and Well being Administration. 

The hazards had been much like violations discovered at different shops operated by the discounter all through the U.S., and the inspection is considered one of greater than 180 investigations by which OSHA has discovered Greenback Common to be jeopardizing employee security, the DOL mentioned. 

In response, a Greenback Common spokesperson instructed CNBC they “usually evaluate and refine our security applications, and reinforce them via coaching, ongoing communication, recognition and accountability.”

“Once we be taught of conditions the place we now have didn’t dwell as much as this dedication, we work to well timed tackle the problem and be certain that the corporate’s expectations concerning security are clearly communicated, understood and applied,” the spokesperson added. 

The corporate, which operates roughly 18,000 shops throughout the nation and employs greater than 150,000 employees, has been fined $15 million for security violations since 2017 and “continues to defy federal office security necessities” regardless of repeated penalties, the company mentioned. 

“Exposing staff to those hazards might be harmful, particularly in an emergency,” OSHA Space Director Mary Reynolds mentioned in an announcement. “Greenback Common Corp. has a considerable historical past of the identical violations and hazards discovered at shops throughout the U.S. They have to finish their repeated failures to appropriate these violations earlier than an emergency turns tragic.”

Simply final week, OSHA mentioned Greenback Common was in settlement talks with federal regulators after the retailer was labeled a “extreme violator” of office security guidelines. Greenback Common was the primary firm to be added to the “extreme violators” listing final fall after OSHA expanded the attain of considered one of its longstanding security enforcement applications.

For the problems on the Pennsylvania retailer, OSHA issued a quotation for one willful violation and one repeat violation with $245,544 in proposed penalties, however the fines are unlikely to have a serious influence on the retailer’s stability sheet. 

In fiscal 2022, which ended Feb. 3, Greenback Common reported $37.84 billion in gross sales and a web earnings of $2.41 billion. 

The corporate has 15 enterprise days to both pay the fines, request a casual convention with OSHA’s space director or contest the findings earlier than the unbiased Occupational Security and Well being Evaluation Fee.

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