Whistleblower Law Blog

OSHA Fines Wal-Mart $365,000 for Failing to Provide Employees at Rochester Store with Proper Training and Safe Working Conditions

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week cited a Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) supercenter in Rochester, NY for 24 repeated and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. Following an OSHA inspection, OSHA proposed that Wal-Mart pay $365,500 in fines.

The inspection conducted by OSHA’s Buffalo Area Office found that due to fall hazards and obstructed exit routes, employees would be unable to perform proper maintenance on a trash compactor. The inspection also found that employees received no training on how to use personal protective equipment and training on hazardous chemicals in the workplace. These repeat violations resulted in 10 citations for Wal-Mart.

Additionally, OSHA cited the same Wal-Mart store for 14 other serious violations such as failing to provide employees with proper training on how to handle exposure to blood and body fluids, exposing workers to confined space hazards, allowing a trash compactor to be operated with its door open, and displaying an illegible emergency exit sign.

OSHA area director Arthur Dube stated, “The sizable fines proposed here reflect not only the seriousness of these conditions but the fact that several of them are substantially similar to hazards identified at nine other Wal-Mart locations in New York and eight other states.”

The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive whistleblower practice and represents employees nationally who have been victims of retaliation.

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