Dollar Tree stores are in the cross-hairs of state regulators. The company faces massive fines for safety violations in its stores, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. A state report identifies ‘leaning stacks of boxes’– nine feet high.
Nicholas Deuel from Labor and Industries inspected the Kelso Dollar tree store which was fined $140,000 dollars. The Bonney Lake store was hit for $166,000 for similar willful and serious violations.
“Their violations were for packages stacked unsafely that created a hazard for employees, and exit routes being blocked so that employees didn’t have exits they could readily access,” Deuel explained. “Willful serious is when the employer shows plain indifference to the rule when they have been educated on the issue, and this is something they are aware of and continue to violate the Washington administrative code.”
According to the state, since 2013 Dollar Tree has had 30 safety violations leading to more than $483,000 dollars in fines.
“Employees had told me that they had boxes fall on them and had been struck by boxes in the past,” Deuel said. “A lot of them told me this has been an ongoing issue, and that they have spoken to their upper level management about it that there hadn’t been any change.”
The state also said Dollar Tree hasn’t paid their $108,000 dollar fine for similar violations at its Aberdeen store in 2016. Deuel said the company has been told by the agency what needs to be done to make its stores safer.
Jesse reached out to Dollar Tree and it had no response to the violations.
Dollar Tree is appealing the violations to the Kelso and Bonney Lake stores.
Nationally, the company has had issues concerning safety. In 2015, it reached an $825,000 dollar settlement with OSHA over safety citations in eight states.