Dollar General cited nationally for OSHA issues
By Elizabeth Perry
McKees Rocks is home to a new Dollar General store, a company that has recently been fined for endemic safety issues by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA found repeated instances of merchandise blocking the path to exits, fire extinguishers being blocked by merchandise, and disabled automatic doors, in stores across the country – all situations which could lead to disaster during a fire.
No local Dollar Generals have been cited, but visits to the store on Chartiers Avenue in McKees Rocks and the Kenmawr Plaza location in Kennedy showed multiple instances of aisles being partially blocked with carts of merchandise. The regional manager did not wish to comment on the issue and referred a reporter to the national media representative for Dollar General. Those emailed questions sent to the national media representative went unanswered.
Recently McKees Rocks Borough officials criticized owners for opening the store to customers before the sidewalk in front of the building was completed. At a meeting in March, council officials announced the store had been cited for the issue. Borough Manager LeeAnn Wozniak said later they hadn’t been cited.
“They are being monitored by our engineer,” Wozniak said via email.
According to OSHA, the company operates about 19,000 stores and similar violations were cited in different cities around the country, including Ocala, Fla., and Columbus, Ga.
They say the chain has not fixed the issues despite repeated fines.
Since 2019, six stores in Pennsylvania have been fined including a store in Greencastle which was cited for the same fire hazard violations two years in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC, which are based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., have been fined more than $15 million and been cited in more than 180 inspections across the country for what OSHA calls “numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations related to unsafe conditions.” Last year the company netted more than $9 billion.
The group operates about 19,000 stores and 28 distribution centers in 47 states and employs more than 173,000 workers.