Dollar General’s Unsafe Store Conditions Are “Severe,” Labor Department Warns

Greenback Normal has grow to be a significant presence within the U.S. The low cost chain is about to open over a 1,000 new shops this yr—making it one of many quickest increasing retailers in the whole nation. However as useful as it’s to have extra low cost shops to buy at throughout a time wherein costs are nonetheless comparatively excessive, Greenback Normal’s growth may very well be extra hurtful than something. The Labor Division is now deeming the retailer as a “extreme violator” of security requirements. Learn on to seek out out extra about why Greenback Normal is being known as out for unsafe retailer situations.

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Action of operation supervisor is holding document paper during operational group meeting with other staffs. Industrial expertise occupation action photo. Close-up and selective focus at hand

The U.S. Division of Labor’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) initially launched its Extreme Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) in 2010. However new modifications have been made to this program in Sept. 2022 in an effort to “strengthen enforcement and enhance compliance” with security requirements. With this, the division up to date the factors that enables an employer to be positioned within the SVEP for willful or repeated violations.

“The Extreme Violator Enforcement Program empowers OSHA to sharpen its give attention to employers who—even after receiving citations for exposing staff to hazardous situations and severe risks—fail to mitigate these hazards,” OSHA’s Assistant Secretary Doug Parker mentioned in an announcement. “As we speak’s expanded standards mirror the Biden-Harris administration’s dedication to making sure OSHA has the instruments it wants to make sure employers shield their staff or maintain them accountable once they fail to supply secure and wholesome workplaces.”


The new standards put in place by OSHA final fall has shined a nasty gentle on Greenback Normal. The low cost retailer is the primary firm to be added to the SVEP below its expanded vary, The New York Occasions reported on March 28. In response to the newspaper, knowledge offered by a White Home official signifies that OSHA has inspected greater than 270 Greenback Normal shops since 2017. Out of those inspections, the company has discovered 111 situations of office security violations and imposed over $15.5 million in penalties due to them.

Over the previous three months alone, a number of Greenback Normal shops in Ohio, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia have been cited by OSHA for hazards in shops. These embrace—however usually are not restricted to—obstructed exit routes, blocked hearth extinguishers, cluttered aisles, and boxed stack in an unsafe method. “What we’ve discovered time and time once more at Greenback Normal shops is that there are apparent, preventable hazards which can be placing staff in danger,” Parker advised The New York Occasions.

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customers walking out of dollar general
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It isn’t simply that OSHA has discovered a number of Greenback Normal shops violating security requirements. Two federal officers (who requested to stay nameless) advised The New York Occasions that in some circumstances, inspectors have demanded hazards be mounted solely to return to one of many retailer’s shops in a follow-up go to to seek out the issue was nonetheless there. In response to the officers, Greenback Normal has been unwilling to interact with OSHA about resolving these points in a broad method up till lately—typically contesting most of the penalties, as an alternative.

“I’m glad OSHA just isn’t ready for a tragedy to happen to doc these hazards. However on the identical time what’s being revealed by the quite a few OSHA inspections and mounting charges is that Greenback Normal does not care,” Joseph McCartin, a labor historian at Georgetown College, advised The New York Occasions. “When you have got company scofflaws, which Greenback Normal has proven itself to be, the system must be strengthened.”

In response to Parker, Greenback Normal has created a enterprise mannequin that lends itself to potential hazards. The retailer operates flippantly staffed and small-scale shops which have a excessive gross sales quantity. So, there are sometimes not sufficient staff current to unload supply vehicles and instantly inventory cabinets, which suggests stock typically lingers within the aisles creating potential hazards for each staff and prospects.

The storefront of a Dollar General location
Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss

Finest Life has reached out to Greenback Normal about being added to the enforcement program and we’ll replace this story with their response. However in accordance with The New York Occasions, the retailer is now within the very early phases of discussing settlement potentialities with OSHA. The 2 federal officers mentioned that Greenback Normal is trying its resolve the penalties and provide you with plan to enhance the unsafe situations in its shops.

Greenback Normal didn’t touch upon these settlement discussions, however the firm advised The New York Occasions that they “recurrently evaluation and refine our security packages, and reinforce them by means of coaching, ongoing communication, recognition, and accountability.” Greenback Normal added in its assertion to the newspaper, “Once we be taught of conditions the place we’ve didn’t stay as much as this dedication, we work to well timed deal with the difficulty and be sure that the corporate’s expectations concerning security are clearly communicated, understood, and applied.”

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