The US Labor Department has levied $177,800 in fines against Dollar Tree Inc. for dangerous conditions in the storeroom of its Roslindale store and the retailer’s failure to fix the problems, the agency said Wednesday.
The department said its Occupational Safety and Health Administration first discovered problems during an inspection in December. It said inspectors found boxes blocking the exits of the storeroom and merchandise stacked in an unstable manner that “exposed workers to crushing injuries should the stacks collapse.”
“This case reflects this company’s deliberate and ongoing refusal to effectively address hazards that have been cited multiple times at their stores across the country,” said Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts in a statement.
Gordon said the inspector told managers that the problems needed to be addressed during an initial visit. The same problems were found on subsequent visits, “showing an unacceptable disregard for employee health and safety,” she said.
The company was fined $70,000 for the obstructed exit routes, $60,500 for unstable merchandise stacks, $44,000 for blocking access to an electrical panel, and $3,300 for keeping trash piles in the storeroom.
In a statement, Dollar Tree said it strives to maintain a safe workplace at all of its stores and intends to contest the citations.
The company, based in Chesapeake, Va., operates 5,080 stores in North America, including 92 in Massachusetts.
Dollar Tree stores across the country have been inspected 153 times and cited for 453 OSHA violations in the last 19 years, the Labor Department said. In the last five years, the stores were cited 51 times for similar violations found in the Roslindale store, located at 950 American Legion Highway. Stores in Wilmington, Del., and Missoula, Mont., were fined earlier this year.
The Labor Department said Dollar Tree had three weeks to comply or contest the fines assessed for violations in Roslindale.