Last fall, OSHA initiated a “severe violators” list. It includes companies who chronically expose employees to workplace safety and health risks. Dollar General was the first company OSHA put on the list.
According to CNBC, Tennessee-based Dollar General grew rapidly during the pandemic. It now operates more locations that Target and Walmart. The workplace safety problems have been widespread, too.
In the last five years, OSHA has fined Dollar General $15 million. OSHA inspected more than 270 Dollar General stores and charged the company with over 100 violations.
“Dollar General’s growing record of disregard for safety measures makes it abundantly clear that the company puts profit before people,” said an OSHA spokesperson in a January news release. “These violations are preventable, and failing to prevent them shows a blatant disregard for the workers on whom they depend to keep their stores operating.”
A Dollar General spokesperson defended the company, saying, “when we learn of situations where we have failed to live up to this commitment, we work to address the issue and ensure the company’s expectations regarding safety are clearly communicated, understood and implemented.”
Yet the violations at Dollar General stores are repeated in nature. Since Dollar General is a retail store, the workplace safety violations typically involve things like blocked fire exits, improperly stacked boxes that could fall, and reach hazards when heavy items are stored on shelves above waist level.
If you’ve been injured in a retail store in Illinois, you’re probably entitled to workers’ comp
The hazards of retail stores may not be dramatic, but falling merchandise can cause lasting injury and a blocked fire exit could be deadly. We call on Dollar General and all retail stores to address these issues immediately and on an ongoing basis.
The good news is that virtually all of these stores are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Assuming your employer does have workers’ comp insurance, you are entitled to make a claim whenever you are injured doing a work-related activity. You do not have to prove your employer was responsible for the injury – only that it happened at work.
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance but should, you may still have a legal claim against them for negligence.
Either way, an attorney can help you. There is no up-front cost and the initial consultation is free.