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The Dollar Stores Earns Membership in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

In October 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA) cited Dollar General Corp. and its subsidiary Dolgencorp LLC for 1.6 million in penalties for putting workers' safety at risk. In November, OSHA inspectors imposed an additional $2.7 in proposed penalties for similar violations at stores in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. According to OSHA's press release, Dollar General has received more than $12.3 million in penalties for "numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations."

These unsafe working conditions include: failing to make fire extinguishers accessible, neglecting to put up exit signs for emergencies, leaving electrical cabinets open, keeping boxes in front of electrical panels (risking worker electrocution), placing workers in danger of falling boxes, blocking exits, and not providing stair handrails from more than 180 inspections at Dollar General stores across the country.

Seven inspections in April through June of this year, which identified 31 similar violations, qualified Dollar General Corp. for inclusion in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). The SVEP is for employers "who have demonstrated indifference to their occupational safety and health obligations through willful, repeated, or failure to abate violations." OSHA will require Dollar General to undergo mandatory follow-up inspections, enhanced settlement provisions, and federal court enforcement. The company may be removed from the program after three years if they receive OSHA verification that all cited hazards have been abated and they paid final penalties.