Oregon OSHA fines Dollar Tree $32K for workplace safety violations

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Oregon OSHA has fined Dollar Tree Stores Inc. $32,000 for repeatedly violating workplace safety requirements. 

The penalty was issued with a citation after an inspection of a Wilsonville Dollar Tree revealed cramped aisles, inaccessible fire extinguishers and emergency exits, and danger of injury from unsecured materials. 

Most of the violations had also been cited at other Dollar Tree locations across the state, resulting in a higher penalty. 

The inspection, launched in late 2021 in response to a complaint, included interviews, on-site walk-throughs and observations, and an examination of records, including internal company audits revealing workplace hazards left unaddressed.

The inspection identified five violations, four of which involved repeat offenses, exposing employees to serious physical harm.

Altogether, Oregon OSHA cited Dollar Tree Stores Inc. for the following violations at the Wilsonville location at 29756 SW Town Center Loop West, reflecting the application of increased penalties for repeat violations of the same rule at other stores in the state:

  • 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
  • Failure to keep written records of safety committee meetings for three years, including names of attendees, meeting dates, safety and health issues discussed, recommendations for corrections, and dates by which managers agree to follow up on corrections. 

“The workplace safety and health standards enforced by Oregon OSHA are there for a reason, so that employers have clear and time-tested steps to follow to keep workers out of harm’s way,” said Lou Savage, interim administrator for the division. “Failing to follow them is not an option. Repeatedly failing to follow them serves only one purpose: to deepen the risk of severe injury and suffering.” 

Employers have 30 calendar days after receiving a citation to file an appeal.

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