The exterior of a Dollar General store is seen on March 16, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
Brandon Bell | Getty Images
dollar general He was again found in violation of federal workplace safety regulations for “deliberately exposing employees to gunfire hazards in a Pennsylvania store,” the Labor Department said Friday.
Investigators found “serious safety hazards,” including emergency exit routes and closed electrical panels, at the Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, store during a November inspection sparked by a complaint filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The risks were similar to violations found at other discount-run stores across the U.S. The inspection is one of more than 180 investigations in which OSHA has found that Dollar General threatens worker safety.
In response, a spokesperson for Dollar General told CNBC that they “regularly review and refine our safety programs, strengthening them through training, ongoing communication, recognition, and accountability.”
“When we learn of situations where we have failed to live up to this commitment, we work to address the issue in a timely manner and ensure that the company’s safety expectations are clearly communicated, understood and implemented,” the spokesperson added.
The agency, which operates nearly 18,000 stores nationwide and employs more than 150,000 workers, has been fined $15 million for safety violations since 2017 and “continues to defy federal workplace safety requirements” despite repeated penalties, said the agency.
“Exposing employees to these hazards can be dangerous, especially in an emergency situation,” OSHA District Administrator Mary Reynolds said in a statement. “Dollar General has a history of the same violations and dangers found in stores across the United States. They must end their repeated failures to correct these violations before the emergency turns tragic.”
Just last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Dollar General was in settlement talks with federal regulators after the retailer was called a “serious violator” of workplace safety rules. Dollar General was the first company to be added to the “serious offender” list last fall after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) expanded the scope of one of its longstanding safety enforcement programs.
For the problems at the Pennsylvania store, OSHA issued a citation for one willful violation and a repeated violation of $245,544 in proposed penalties, but the fines are unlikely to have a significant impact on the retailer’s balance sheet.
In the 2022 fiscal year, which ended on February 3. 3, Dollar General reported sales of $37.84 billion and net income of $2.41 billion.
The company has 15 business days to either pay the fines, request an informal conference with the OSHA district manager, or challenge the findings to an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Committee.