The United States Department of Labor recently cited a Wisconsin business for exposing workers to exit, storage and fire hazards. The agency found the business, a Dollar Tree Store in Marinette, in violation of multiple safety requirements including providing an exit route, proper fire safety and the presence of a potential struck-by hazard.
More on OSHA’s exit requirements
The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide a continuous and unobstructed path of exit from the workplace to a place of safety. This can include a safe area outside. The agency uses a three-part requirement to determine if the exit is safe. The exit must be accessible, allow a way to leave and lead to a safe area.
The number of exits OSHA requires depends on the size of the building and number of employees. Generally, the agency requires at least two exits. In this case, the inspection found the employer had blocked or otherwise obstructed access to the exits.
More on the violations found in this case
The inspection also resulted in finding a fire safety violation, as the business failed to maintain fire extinguishers. Inspectors also noticed unsafely stacked merchandise that could fall and injure workers, resulting in potential for a struck-by accident.
These violations resulted in one other-than-serious, two repeat and three willful violations. The business has 15 days to comply with the citations or appeal the findings.
Lessons for workers in similar situations
Workers who are injured while on-the-job are likely eligible for compensation through the workers’ comp system. An attorney experienced in these claims can review your case and discuss your options.