MARINETTE  — On Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the Marinette Dollar Tree Store for six safety violations concerning exit, storage and fire hazards. The store must correct the violation within 15 working days — by April 16 — and faces penalties of up to $477,089 in fines. 

According to an OSHA Citation and Notification of Penalty Document, the citations came after a September compliance inspection by OSHA officials at the Marinette store, which is located inside the Pine Tree Mall. OSHA inspectors found obstructed and unlabeled exit routes; unsecured storage hazards; blocked electrical panels; and obstructed and unmaintained fire extinguishers. The violations exposed employees to fire hazards as well as potential “struck-by” risks due to inadequately secured and unstable merchandise.

Dating back to 2015, a significant history documents various safety complaints that persist at other Dollar Tree Store locations according to the citation document and OSHA records. The complaints range in categories that include “serious,” “willful,” “repeat,” “other” and “unclassified” and they include various levels of fines.

“OSHA continues to receive complaints about unsafe working conditions at Dollar Tree stores across the nation,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “This employer is required to follow the law, and comply with regulations that protect workers from injuries and fatalities.”

OSHA Spokesperson Scott Allen explained that the store has 15 days to respond to the allegations, in which time the Dollar Tree officials can request an informal conference with the region’s OSHA director to discuss the next steps. The store may also contest the citations, which then brings the case before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and could result in a reduction of the fines.

Regardless, Allen said the store location must abate the violations.  

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

Additional information about OSHA requirements for keeping exits unobstructed is available in the agency’s Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet. OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs includes information on how to identify and assess hazards in the workplace.

The Department of Labor works to foster, promote and develop and welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees. It strives to improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.