Tripping Hazards, Blocked Exits Endanger Dollar General Workers

Tampa-area locations the latest to face OSHA fines for safety violations.

July 20, 2023

In what appears to be a blatant disregard for worker safety, the corporation behind U.S. retail giant Dollar General has yet again been cited for tripping and other safety hazards, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

This time, inspections by the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at two Tampa, Florida-area Dollar General stores found Dollar General Corp. again exposing employees to unsafe conditions. A January 2023 inspection at a Brandon, Florida, store identified exit routes blocked, as well as electrical hazards. Inspectors also found the store did not have a working employee restroom and left a restroom sewer drain uncovered, which created a tripping hazard. Two days later in Dade City, Florida, OSHA inspectors found an emergency exit blocked by rolling containers and merchandise, exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards.

After these inspections, OSHA issued citations to Dollar General Corp. for three repeat, two serious, and three other-than-serious violations and proposed penalties of US$342,282. Since 2017, the company has faced more than $21 million in fines after more than 243 inspections nationwide. In early June, CMMOnline covered allegations of OSHA safety violations at several Dollar General locations, including merchandise and other materials obstructing aisles, which could potentially create slip, trip, and fall (STF) situations.

“After more than 200 failed inspections, Dollar General cannot claim that they misunderstand federal safety requirements. At this point, we can only conclude that they choose to continue exposing their employees to hazardous conditions,” said Danelle Jindra, OSHA area director in Tampa. “Dollar General must make changes to correct these recurring violations before a worker is needlessly injured or worse.”

Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC operate about 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. The company has contested the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Preventing STFs for all occupants and visitors of a facility is an important concern that managers can’t afford to ignore. To learn more about simple steps you can take to ensure the safety of your building’s users, check out Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls.

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