Matt Deffebach in Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter: Chain Stores Uniquely Exposed to Citations

10/16/2014

It was the day before Christmas in 2013 when an OSHA inspector arrived at a Dollar Tree store in the Boston suburbs.

Amid what is typically a store’s busiest shopping week of the year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector began walking through the store. According to OSHA records, the inspector found merchandise encroaching onto exit routes and boxes stacked haphazardly. Trash was piled in a storage area and access to a 600-volt electrical box in the store’s receiving area was blocked...

Attorneys representing retailers in appeals of OSHA citations told Bloomberg BNA they question how OSHA applies its definition of ‘‘repeat’’ and whether the citations protect workers from the predominant safety and health hazard of retail work— musculoskeletal injuries such as strains from lifting. 

While two stores in different regions share the same ownership, the stores may have different layouts, sales volumes, employee turnover and staff demographics, said Matthew Deffebach, chair of the labor and employment practice group at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston.

Excerpted from Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, October 16, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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