Greenback shops have turn out to be ubiquitous inside the U.S., spreading at a speedy charge over the previous few years, with new places popping up consistently. Final yr, Greenback Common Corp. and Greenback Tree, Inc. (which additionally owns the Household Greenback model) beat out each different retailer by way of development—opening a mixed complete of greater than 1,300 new shops throughout the three chains by the top of the 2022 fiscal yr, per The Wall Avenue Journal.
Not everyone seems to be joyful about greenback retailer enlargement, nevertheless. A few of these low cost chains are being criticized for the potential hurt they will have on communities, they usually’ve been fined for overcharging customers in sure areas. However that is not the one draw back greenback shops could carry. These retailers have additionally been flagged quite a few occasions for harmful retailer situations that might put each prospects and workers in danger. Learn on to search out out extra in regards to the newest citations.
READ THIS NEXT: Communities Are Combating Again In opposition to Greenback Common and Greenback Tree—Here is Why.
Again in Feb. 2022, the Marketing campaign for More healthy Options and the Ecology Middle Wholesome Stuff lab launched a joint-product screening report highlighting the presence of hazardous chemical substances in gadgets bought by a number of the hottest greenback retailer chains within the U.S.
The researchers examined 226 merchandise bought from totally different Greenback Tree, Household Greenback, Greenback Common, 5 Beneath, and 99 Cents Solely shops in a number of states and Canada. In keeping with the report, 52 p.c of the screened merchandise examined constructive for a number of chemical substances of concern together with lead.
“We must always not have to attend this lengthy for greenback shops to undertake safer chemical substances insurance policies,” José Bravo, nationwide coordinator of the Marketing campaign for More healthy Options, mentioned in an announcement on the time. “Some chains like 99 Cents Solely Shops and 5 Beneath have up to now proven little to no real interest in adopting safer chemical substances insurance policies, whereas Greenback Tree is main the low cost retail sector and Greenback Common continues to make gradual progress.”
However it’s not simply the merchandise you purchase that you need to be anxious about—the precise shops themselves may very well be placing you in danger. Lately, three greenback retailer chains within the U.S. have been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Division of Labor’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) for harmful retailer situations.
Greenback Tree is the newest chain to be cited by OSHA. In an April 24 press launch, the company mentioned that the retailer is going through a complete of $770,136 in proposed penalties for harmful situations discovered at two Rhode Island shops. The hazards found by inspectors included obstructed exits, unsafe storage, and blocked entry to fireside extinguishers.
However that is hardly the chain’s first crimson flag. In keeping with the discharge, OSHA has beforehand cited Greenback Tree for comparable hazards at shops in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin. Officers say these situations not solely create an unsafe office for workers, however that additionally they put customers in danger.
“Within the occasion of an emergency, employees and others will need to have quick and protected entry to unblocked exit routes,” Eric S. Harbin, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas, mentioned in a February assertion. “Retailers like Greenback Tree that fail to verify their shops’ storage areas are organized and protected are endangering everybody who works and outlets there.”
In a earlier assertion to Finest Life, Greenback Tree spokesperson Kristin Tetreault mentioned the corporate takes considerations like this “severely” and instantly works to remediate the problems recognized.
“At Greenback Tree we’re targeted on sustaining a protected setting for our associates and prospects and guaranteeing our shops adjust to all well being and security laws,” she mentioned.
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Greenback Tree, Inc. is not simply going through fines for hazards discovered at Greenback Tree shops, nevertheless. The corporate has additionally racked up huge prices for harmful retailer situations flagged all through the Household Greenback chain, which it acquired in 2015.
Again in Aug. 2022, it was hit with $1.2 million price of penalties from OSHA after repeat violations have been found at two Household Greenback places in Ohio. Then in December, the company tacked on one other $364,645 in fines for the corporate when an inspection revealed 4 repeat violations at a Household Greenback in Georgia.
“Household Greenback and its father or mother firm, Greenback Tree Shops Inc., proceed to low cost the protection of its workers and others for the sake of income by unsafely storing merchandise,” Jerred Stevens, OSHA performing space workplace director in Savannah, Georgia, mentioned in an announcement. “Time and time once more, we discover the corporate overfilling its storerooms and permitting merchandise to dam aisles and emergency exits. This has to cease earlier than somebody is severely damage or unable to exit safely in an emergency.”
Every new quotation provides on to a “prolonged historical past” of security violations for Greenback Tree, Inc., in response to OSHA. Since 2017, the company mentioned each its federal and state-based applications have discovered greater than 300 violations from over 500 inspections at Greenback Tree and Household Greenback shops all through the nation.
Tetreault beforehand informed Finest Life that the corporate takes points that come up at Household Greenback shops “very severely” as effectively. “Please know the protection of our associates and prospects is our first precedence,” she mentioned.
The Greenback Tree firm definitely is not alone in relation to this long-standing drawback. Up to now 5 months alone, OSHA inspectors have uncovered regarding situations at Greenback Common shops in seven totally different states: Ohio, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. And that is simply part of the corporate’s obvious historical past of hazards.
Since 2017, Greenback Common Corp. has been hit with greater than $16 million in fines and cited in over 180 inspections at shops nationwide for “quite a few willful, repeat and critical office security violations associated to unsafe situations,” in response to OSHA.
In consequence, Greenback Common just lately turned the primary and solely nationwide retailer to be added to the Labor Division’s “extreme violator” record—which covers the businesses which have failed to repair harmful situations regardless of receiving a number of citations.
“I’m glad OSHA is just not ready for a tragedy to happen to doc these hazards,” Joseph McCartin, a labor historian at Georgetown College, informed The New York Instances with reference to Greenback Common’s extreme violator addition. “However on the identical time what’s being revealed by the quite a few OSHA inspections and mounting charges is that Greenback Common would not care.”
When requested previously about its OSHA violations, Greenback Common indicated that it was “dedicated to offering” a protected setting for its associates and prospects.
“We recurrently evaluate and refine our security applications, and reinforce them via coaching, ongoing communication, recognition and accountability,” the corporate mentioned in a previous assertion to Finest Life. “After we study of conditions the place we now have did not dwell as much as this dedication, we work to well timed tackle the problem and make sure that the corporate’s expectations concerning security are clearly communicated, understood and applied.”
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