Family Dollar has been fined $1.2 million by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after finding safety violations at two stores in Ohio.
The Maple Heights and Columbus, Ohio, Family Dollar stores were in violation of several employee safety hazards, which OSHA said were a result of “flagrantly ignoring workplace safety regulations.”
Since 2017, OSHA has conducted more than 500 inspections of Family Dollar stores and parent company Dollar Tree’s (DLTR) locations. It was during these inspections that OSHA found a total of 11 violations at the two stores in Ohio, including “dangerously” obstructed or blocked exit routes, fire extinguishers, and electrical panels.
There were also violations at the stores for unsafe walking-working surfaces, unstable stacks of merchandise, and trip and fall hazards caused by water, carts, boxes, trash, and merchandise that was strewn about in the retail areas and storerooms, OSHA said.
In an instance at the Columbus store, an employee complained of water leaking from the ceiling causing wet floors and ceiling tiles to fall on the floor. A fine of $547,587 was issued by OSHA.
In another instance at the Maple Heights location, a worker complained of unsafe conditions, prompting one repeat violation and four willful violations from OSHA, and a fine of $685,777.
As a result, OSHA has issued penalties of $1,233,364 for the multiple violations.
The news of the OSHA violations comes after Family Dollar was exposed for having found rodents inside a distribution facility in February, resulting in as many as 400 stores temporarily closing and forcing the recall of thousands of contaminated products from locations in multiple states.
“Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores have a long and disturbing history of putting profits above employee safety,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said 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,” he added.
Dollar Tree has more than 16,000 namesake and Family Dollar stores across the U.S. and Canada. The company grossed a profit of $7.7 billion last year.
OSHA has given the retailer 15 days to comply with the citation, request an informal conference with OSHA officials, or contest the findings in an agency review.
As of Tuesday premarket hours, shares of Dollar Tree were trading at $166.51, down 18 cents or 0.11%.