While many people think only construction and industrial workers face occupational hazards, the retail industry is not typically regarded as dangerous. However, retail workers are also exposed to workplace risks. This is underscored by the most recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed penalties of $265,265 for safety violations at a Dollar Tree outlet in Florida. It forms part of almost $10 million in fines levied on the franchise since 2016.
During the inspection, safety inspectors determined that workers in the Beverly Hills, Florida, outlet faced the following hazards:
- Fire and entrapment dangers
- Struck-by hazards
- No access to blocked exit routes
- Improperly stacked cardboard boxes
- Stored materials that could fall and cause injuries
The Area Director of OSHA in Tampa, Florida, noted that Dollar Tree Stores are known to disregard employee and customer safety. The company employs more than 190,000 workers across North America, all of which are exposed to preventable workplace accidents. Reportedly, OSHA has carried out over 300 inspections of Dollar Tree stores over the past five years. The agency says that the same safety violations are found at the retail group’s outlets year after year.
Dollar Tree employees in Florida might not know that they can insist on safe work environments. Workers’ safety is the responsibility of employers. Anyone who suffers a work-related injury is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is crucial to report any injuries immediately. The employee must then set the wheels rolling by filing a benefits claim within the allowed time limit. Primary benefits typically cover all the injured worker’s medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages.