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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Two Ocala Dollar General stores facing $710,000 fine for safety violations

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a fine of over $710,000 for two Dollar General stores in Ocala that are accused of committing multiple workplace safety violations.

In a press release this week, the U.S. Department of Labor stated that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected the Dollar General stores located at 401 NE 58th Avenue and 896 Marion Oaks Manor in late August and September 2022.

The Dollar General store located at 896 Marion Oaks Manor in Ocala

During the inspection, federal workplace inspectors observed merchandise obstructing exit routes that exposed workers to fire and entrapment hazards, merchandise blocking fire extinguishers, and an automatic sliding door that was disabled and locked, according to the press release.

Due to the results of the inspection at both Dollar General stores, the company was cited for five repeat violations and penalties were proposed totaling $710,974.

Since 2017, OSHA has issued more than $15 million in fines and cited Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC in over 180 inspections nationwide for “numerous willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations related to unsafe conditions,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Exposing employees and others to these hazards can be dangerous, especially in an emergency,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “Dollar General is well aware of federal requirements, but they continue to ignore their legal responsibilities to protect their employees at stores throughout the nation.”

In Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, OSHA has issued citations in 23 Dollar General store inspections from February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023, along with a total of nearly $7.5 million in penalties.

Dollar General has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC operate approximately 19,000 stores and 28 distribution centers in 47 states. The organization, which employs more than 173,000 workers, reported net sales of over $9 billion in fiscal year 2022.