The Department of Labor announced a settlement with Family Dollar and its parent company, Dollar Tree, to address multiple safety violations at thousands of U.S. stores.
The settlement calls on the stores to fix issues with blocked exits, access to fire extinguishers and electric panels, and improper material storage. Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are required to conduct assessments on the root cause of safety violations and make operational changes to correct them within two years.
The settlement also requires stores to fix issues such as these within 48 hours of notification. Failure to fix such issues could result in fines of $100,000 per day.
"By creating incentives for companies to implement systemic solutions nationwide, the Department of Labor has created a pathway to ensuring more workers are safe and protected when they're at work," said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda. "The Solicitor’s office and OSHA support innovative agreements under which companies commit to solve the underlying problems that create hazards. We were willing to use this approach because these companies had already taken substantial steps to address the systemic issues, which gave us confidence that this innovative approach would work."
The company is also being ordered to pay $1.35 million in penalties from preexisting violations.
The Department of Labor also said that Dollar Tree will establish a 24-hour safety hotline to ensure complaints are addressed.
As of earlier this week, Dollar Tree said it operates 16,476 stores across the U.S. and Canada. The company says it has over 200,000 workers.
The company said over the past year, it has implemented a "Comprehensive Approach to Store Safety" team focused on workplace safety. The team has developed a checklist for store associates to focus on items such as stacking heights and pathways being clear.
"Our company is in the midst of a business transformation, and at the heart of it all is our continued focus on safety for our more than 200,000 associates," said Mike Creedon, chief operating officer of Dollar Tree, Inc. "We are implementing substantial safety policies, procedures, and training, all intended to safeguard the wellbeing of our associates. We appreciate the opportunity to engage with OSHA on our safety initiatives as we move forward, seeking to establish our position as a leading retailer in workplace safety."
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