It’s more bad news for Dollar General stores, one of the largest food and household goods retailers in the country.
Federal safety regulators announced that they have added another $1 million in fines against the company after inspections at stores in Alabama and Georgia, bringing the retailer’s total penalties since 2016 to more than $3.6 million.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the chain after 55 inspections around the country in recent years – for hazardous work conditions, including blocked exits and blocked electrical panels. Last week, OSHA announced that, after inspections last summer at stores in Mobile, Alabama, and Dalton, Georgia, it has again fined Dollar General for similar hazards.
“Dollar General’s long and extensive history of workplace safety violations and repeated failures to protect its workers shows willful recklessness,” OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer said in a statement. “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 is a subsidiary of Dollar General Corp. It operates about 17,000 stores and 17 distribution centers around the nation and employs more than 150,000 people, OSHA said.
Dollar General has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, or request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The potentially hazardous conditions raise concerns about workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims.
Dollar General representatives could not be reached for comment Monday. But the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims, one of the few state comp agencies to post claims information, shows that in Florida, more than 350 claims against Dollar General and Dolgencorp have been contested since Jan. 1, 2016.
The OSHA citations came the same week that another dollar-store chain, Family Dollar, closed 404 stores around the country after investigators found an extensive rat infestation at a distribution center in Arkansas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it had found as many as 1,000 of the rodents, alive and dead, at the center, sparking concerns that packaged food sent to stores had been contaminated.
Recalls were issued for some items and then the stores were closed altogether, according to news reports.
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