Dollar General Continues to Ignore Safety of Workers—Fined $156K

The Dollar General in Bolivar, Ohio continues to ignore federal workplace safety inspectors. The safety inspectors found repeated instances where the company endangers workers and customers alike by blocking exit routes with stacked merchandise. OSHA issued three repeat safety citations earlier this month, coming to a total of $156,772 in proposed fines. These fines relate to blocked access to emergency exits, electrical panels, and unmarked fire extinguishers. OSHA’s area director Larry Johnson expressed his concern stating how “In an emergency, no one should have to struggle to get out of a store safely, grab a fire extinguisher or shut down the power quickly.” Read more here.

Walmart Shows Promising Results After Adoption of 2014 "Sustainable Chemistry Policy"

After committing to a 2014 policy that oversees the removal of harmful chemicals from consumer products, Walmart announced a 95% reduction by weight in the use of high priority chemicals of concern back in April. The three primary commitments of this policy encompassed:

  •  An increased transparency of product ingredients, such as full product formulations and online disclosure;
  • Advance safer formulations of products—attempting to achieve complete elimination of Priority Chemicals and High Priority Chemicals; and
  • Attaining U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice certification (formerly Design for the Environment) of Walmart private brand products.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has applauded the progress Walmart has made in regards to their new chemical guidelines, writing how “Walmart’s policy is working because it hits on every one of EDF's five pillars of leadership for safer chemicals in the marketplace.” Some of the suggestions for future improvement include: extending sustainable chemistry philosophy across all products and all stores globally; adopting stronger disclosure standards for products ingredients; and maintaining momentum by continuing to publish progress, which may resonate with the public and provide an incentive for other retailers to follow Walmart’s lead. Read more here.

 

Pier 1 Imports Faces $101k In OSHA Fines for Exposing Employees to Workplace Hazards

One of the store locations in Glendale, Wisconsin is facing up to $101,420 in fines for five repeated, two serious and one other-than-serious violation. These include improper use of ladders, exposing employees to fall hazards, lack of railings on the stair and storage areas, blocking electrical panels, and electrical junction boxes without covers. The employees at this store were also put at risk from failure to prevent boxes from blocking aisles and being piled at dangerous heights. Federal workplace safety inspectors have found similar safety hazards at several other U.S. store locations. Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee, said “haphazardly stacked boxes can fall and injure workers, or block exit routes in an emergency.” She continues to state how “Pier 1 must take responsibility to ensure the safety of its workers in all of its stores before someone is hurt or worse.” Read more here.