Unsafe Workplaces Cost Retailers

With the new year upon us and OSHA stepping up unannounced compliance audits, now is the time to review safety compliance within your locations.

The below three examples of recent OSHA fines for “repeat violations” in retail stores should be a reminder to everyone that safety needs to be a daily priority.

A “repeat violation” exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of an OSHA standard, regulation, rule or order at any of their other locations in federal enforcement states within the past five years. This means a “repeat violation” does not need to be at the same location, nor the same city or state. Get cited for an OSHA violation say in a store in New York and within 5 years get cited for the same or similar violation in a California store, and it will be a repeat issue!

New Jersey Retail Store ($121,000 fine):

Just two repeat violations resulted in the $121,000 fine.

. Obstructed Emergency Exits: The store’s exit routes to both the front and rear of the building from the back stock room were blocked by boxes of product, empty boxes, and product push carts.  ($55,000 fine)

. Storing Materials in Unsafe Manner: In the store’s stock room boxes of product were observed stacked approximately 7-8 feet in height in an unstable manner, exposing employees to being struck by falling boxes when removing boxes to stock store shelves. ($66,000 fine)

 

New York Retail Store ($40,000 fine):

Just a single repeat violation resulted in the $40,000 fine.

. Lack of Emergency Action Plan: The store was cited for failing to have a strategy in place for employees in the event of a fire or other emergency. (OSHA requires every business that employs more than 10 workers to have a site-specific Emergency Action Plan.)

 

Massachusetts Retail Store ($55,000 fine):

Just two repeat violations resulted in the $55,000 fine.

. Exit Access Hazards: The store’s emergency exit route was compromised by boxes of stock narrowing the route to the extent that it could prevent workers from swiftly and safely exiting the store during a fire or other emergency.

. Struck-by Hazards: Workers faced the hazard of being struck-by boxes that fell from piles of stock in the store’s back room that were not secured against collapse or displacement.

If you have questions concerning OSHA violations; are in need of a safety review; or need help in creating a pro-active Safety Program to address OSHA requirements, give us a call at 813-991-5628 or visit our website at: www.hayesinternational.com.  $

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