OSHA Takes a Bite Out of Retailer For Ineffective Vermin Control

Source: Chanawat Phadwichit - 123RF

CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Ocean State Job Lot for repeat and serious violations at a Stratham, New Hampshire, store.

The retailer – based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island – faces a total of $154,199 in penalties for ineffective sanitation and respirator protections for store employees.

OSHA cited Ocean State Job Lot for failing to keep employee work areas free of vermin feces and urine, and institute a continuing and effective extermination program.

OSHA cited the company for the same hazards in March 2019.

OSHA also cited Ocean State for failing to provide respirator training, fit testing, and medical evaluations for employees required to use respirators while cleaning up vermin waste.

“Employers are required to maintain worksites in a sanitary condition and keep areas free from conditions which have the potential to harbor vermin,” said OSHA Concord Area Director Rosemarie O. Cole.

According to OSHA, employers should train workers on the facility’s vermin-control procedures that include sanitation procedures (such as designated eating and food storage areas), detection of vermin, and reporting procedures.

Depending on the level of responsibility assigned, the procedures should outline step-by-step strategies for addressing various vermin infestations.

OSHA’s Respirator Protection eTool provides information on medical requirements, maintenance, and care of respirators, and fit testing.