South suburban Dollar Tree stores cited by OSHA for safety violations

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Two dollar stores in the south suburbs face more than $120,000 in fines for putting workers at risk by stacking boxes too high and blocking exits from the store, according to OSHA.

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The Occupational Safety & Health Administration said workers at Dollar Tree stores in Chicago Ridge and South Chicago Heights “were exposed to safety hazards from blocked exit routes and boxes piled at dangerous heights,” and the violations are not uncommon.

The federal agency is proposing $121,000 in penalties for two repeat violations at the store at 9950 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Chicago Ridge; and one repeat violation at the store at 3323 Chicago Rd. in South Chicago Heights, a statement from OSHA said.

The violations were noted in November and December 2014, following inspections that resulted from employee complaints, according to OSHA.

“Workers can be injured by haphazardly stacked boxes that fall, or trapped when exits are blocked. Hazards like these put worker safety in jeopardy,” Kathy Webb, OSHA area director in Calumet City, said in the statement. “Employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers in their facilities.”

And the violations in the south suburbs are nothing new for Dollar Tree, according to OSHA.The Virginia-based national retailer has been cited for more than 200 safety and health violations across the nation since 2009, and was assessed over $900,000 in fines in the second half of 2014 alone.


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