Discount retailer Dollar Tree has been slapped with $1.2 million in fines by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for hazardous working conditions at two of its Family Dollar stores in Ohio. These OSHA safety violations are the latest of more than 300 infractions the agency has accused the company of committing since 2017 at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores across the country, following more than 500 investigations.
Inspections at both stores uncovered OSHA safety violations relating to:
- Exit obstructions;
- Unstable stacks;
- Inaccessible electrical equipment and fire extinguishers;
- Water hazards that could cause trip-and-fall accidents; and
- Walking-working surfaces blocked by merchandise on the retail floor and in storerooms.
Penalties totaling $685,777 were proposed following a Jan. 31, 2022 inspection that was conducted at a Maple Heights, Ohio Family Dollar location after a worker complained. The investigation identified one repeat violation and four willful violations.
On Feb. 10, 2022, following a worker complaint of water leaking through the ceiling resulting in wet ceiling tiles and floors at a Columbus, Ohio store, OSHA discovered one serious and one repeat violation, in addition to four willful violations. Following this investigation, the agency proposed $547,587 in penalties.
Dollar Tree has 15 business days from receipt of the citations, which were issued July 28, 2022, to comply, request an OSHA meeting or contest the investigations’ findings.
While OSHA violations have plagued Dollar Tree for years, the latest infractions were reported during a time of executive-level transition at the company. In June 2022, five C-level executives departed the company following a March 2022 overhaul of its board, which saw former Dollar General CEO Richard Dreiling join as Executive Chair and Paul Hilal come aboard as Vice Chair. Hilal is the Founder and CEO of activist investor Mantle Ridge, which owns a 5.7% stake in Dollar Tree and pressured the discount retailer to implement a “refresh of the membership of the Board.”