Six of nine nationwide discount stores listed in report on unsafe conditions in North Dakota

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KMOT) – Six North Dakota Dollar General stores were among a report from the U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday detailing nine discount stores nationwide where federal inspectors found unsafe working conditions.

The news report cites Dollar General locations in Casselton, Garrison, Hillsboro, Killdeer, Minot, and Tioga.

The report indicates that OSHA opened inspections at the North Dakota locations between late October and late December 2022.

Federal inspectors said they found “exit routes, doors, fire extinguishers and electrical panels blocked and unsafely stacked merchandise.”

According to the Labor Department, at the Minot location, OSHA inspectors learned at least six store employees suffered exposure to toxic vapors, three of whom sought treatment, after chemical containers ruptured and their contents mixed in December.

The department said OSHA cited the company for not providing employees with “adequate respiratory protection and personal protective equipment and for failing to train employees on safe handling of hazardous chemicals and proper clean-up.”

The North Dakota inspections led to 32 violations in a two-month period and a proposed $2.5 million in penalties.

Related content: North Dakota citations from OSHA inspections

The other discount store locations with issues included Enfield, Maine; Kettering, Ohio; and Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

The workplace safety failures in the four states would add $3.4 million in proposed penalties to the company, on top of the more than $21 million in fines that OSHA has proposed since 2017 amid inspections of 240 stores nationwide.

The department said Dollar General has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with OSHA, or contest the findings.

Related content: Nine inspections in four states find Dollar General exposed workers to obstructed exits, fire, electrical hazards; carry $3.4M in new penalties

According to the Dollar General website, the company currently has four locations in Minot.

Dollar General Public Relations responded to the report with the following statement:

“As a growing retailer serving thousands of communities across the country, Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its associates and shopping experience for its customers. We regularly review and refine our safety programs, and reinforce them through training, ongoing communication, recognition and accountability. When we learn of situations where we have failed to live up to this commitment, we work to timely address the issue and ensure that the company’s expectations regarding safety are clearly communicated, understood and implemented.”

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