Dollar Tree Stores Fined $900K for Unsafe Working Conditions

BOISE, ID – OSHA has cited Dollar Tree Stores at four Idaho locations for exposing employees to unsafe storage of merchandise and blocked walkways and exit routes.

The company faces $898,682 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors initially responded to a complaint alleging that a Dollar Tree store in Boise was exposing employees to unstable stacks and piles of boxes in the store’s stockroom. 

Soon after, OSHA received another complaint alleging similarly unsafe conditions at Dollar Tree locations in Caldwell, Nampa, and Meridian.

At the four stores, inspectors found boxes stacked improperly, often with heavier boxes on top of lighter ones, and blocked aisles and exit routes. 

In one store, inspectors found an employee who suffered injury and needed help after boxes fell on them. While an inspector shot video of conditions during another inspection, a stack of boxes fell and nearly injured an employee. 

During their investigation, inspectors learned that falling boxes had injured other employees.

OSHA cited Dollar Tree for violations related to the following:

  • Blocked aisles and exit routes;
  • Unsafe storage and stacking of boxes;
  • Blocked electrical panels;
  • Improper use of a ladder; and
  • Exposing workers to falls from heights.

According to OSHA, Dollar Tree Stores has a history of exposing its employees to safety and health hazards. In April 2018,
Washington State Labor & Industries issued $306,000 in citations for willful violations at two of its stores.

L&I took the action after inspections at the company’s Bonney Lake and Kelso stores found the stores were knowingly exposing employees to workplace safety hazards; Dollar Tree stores in Aberdeen and Chehalis were cited for the same violations in 2016.

OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs includes information on how to identify and assess hazards in the workplace.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.