OSHA cites Dollar Tree for two repeat safety violations at its Newark, New Jersey, store, proposes US$121,000 in fines

WASHINGTON , March 16, 2012 (press release) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree Stores for two repeat safety violations at its Newark location. OSHA opened an inspection in response to a complaint alleging blocked fire exits and the unsafe storage of items in stock. Proposed penalties total $121,000.

The first violation is permitting exit routes to be obstructed by boxes and product carts. OSHA previously cited Dollar Tree Stores for the same violation at its Bergenfield and Dover, N.J., locations in 2010 and 2008, respectively. The second violation is storing materials in an unsafe manner. OSHA cited this violation at the company's Commack, N.Y.; Watchung, N.J.; and Dover, N.J., locations in 2011, 2010 and 2008, respectively. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

"These violations are often found at retail stores and can pose a serious risk to workers," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "It is imperative that Dollar Tree Stores evaluate all of its locations for these and other potential workplace hazards, and take the appropriate steps to protect workers."

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DollarTreeStoresInc_315793539_0312_12.pdf*.

"The company can prevent these types of hazards by establishing an injury and illness prevention program in which it works with its employees to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

Dollar Tree Stores, which employs nine people at the Newark store, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.

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 working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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