PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dollar Tree Stores Inc. was fined $32,000 after the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected a shop in Wilsonville and found the company had repeatedly exposed employees to “serious physical harm,” the office said.
The dollar-store chain was cited for several hazards, including unsecured boxes that could fall on workers, aisles that were dangerously narrow and blocked fire extinguishers and exits, Oregon workplace safety officials said in a press release Wednesday.
According to Oregon OSHA, inspectors interviewed employees, examined store records and walked through the site at 29756 SW Town Center Loop West in Wilsonville. Officials said reviews of internal company audits revealed dangerous conditions had been left unaddressed.
The recent inspection, which started in 2021 and ended in February, began after Oregon OSHA received a complaint. Officials said the fine from the Wilsonville store inspection was heftier than normal because the company was already cited for previous violations of the same rules at other Dollar Tree stores in Oregon.
Oregon OSHA provided the following explanation of violations:
- Failure to stabilize and secure boxes of merchandise to prevent them from falling onto or in the path of employees, which potentially exposed employees to struck-by, trip, and fall hazards. It was the sixth repeat violation of this rule since 2018. Penalty: $7,500
- Failure to ensure an adequate width for aisles and walkways, which potentially exposed employees to trip and fall hazards. It was the fourth repeat violation of this rule since 2019. Penalty: $10,500
- Failure to ensure that stored materials, including merchandise in the stockroom and at the back of the store, did not block access to portable fire extinguishers. It was the second repeat violation of this rule since 2018. Penalty: $3,500
- Failure to ensure that merchandise, carts, and conveyor rollers in the stockroom did not block emergency exit routes, which potentially exposed employees to trip and fall hazards, and smoke inhalation or burns. It was the second repeat violation of this rule since 2020. Penalty: $10,500
In addition, the company also failed to keep adequate records of safety meetings for the past few years, officials said. No fine was attached to this violation.
OSHA officials did not state in the press release whether any injuries had happened as a result of the violations.
The company has 30 calendar days to appeal the fine.