Family Dollar Fined $1.2M by OSHA for Violations at 2 Ohio Stores
Federal regulators have fined Family Dollar more than $1.2 million in penalties related to safety violations at two Ohio stores, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday and CNBC reports. In January and February of this year, OSHA inspected Family Dollar stores in Columbus and Maple Heights and found blocked exits, unstable stacks of goods, cluttered working areas, and inaccessible electrical equipment and fire extinguishers.
The agency found 11 violations between the two stores, adding to more than 300 total violations by Family Dollar and its parent company, Dollar Tree, over the last five years, OSHA said in a release. The company can contest the citation and the fine with the agency. The fines come just months after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation found rodents, dead and alive, in more than 400 Family Dollar stores, leading to mass voluntary recalls of products this past February.
Total Retail's Take: OSHA administration officials didn't mince words when commenting on the violations. “Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores have a long and disturbing history of putting profits above employee safety,” said Doug Parker, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in a statement. “Time and time again, we find the same violations — blocked or obstructed emergency exits and aisles, boxes of merchandise stacked high or in front of electrical panels and fire extinguishers. Each hazard can lead to a tragedy.”
Family Dollar and its parent, Dollar Tree, are earning a poor reputation for the treatment of its employees and adherence to safety standards in its stores. Possibly factoring into this latest spate of OSHA violations within the retailer's stores is the national labor shortage, which could lead to poor management at understaffed stores. Family Dollar will need to have a stronger focus on employee safety to ensure its other store locations are in compliance with OSHA standards and avoid further fines.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.