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OSHA: Bridgeport Family Dollar Store Employees Face Exit Access Hazards

Bridgeport's Family Dollar is facing proposed penalties of $72,000 for citations from OSHA.
Bridgeport's Family Dollar is facing proposed penalties of $72,000 for citations from OSHA. Photo Credit: Family Dollar Facebook

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Family Dollar Stores of Connecticut Inc. in Bridgeport for two repeat and three serious violations of workplace safety standards.

The finding was the result of conditions found at the 1175 State St. store on April 6, according to OSHA.

In March 2011, the company was cited for exit access and storage hazards at its 238 Captain Thomas Boulevard store in West Haven.

The April 6 inspection at the Bridgeport store found that the emergency exit route through the storeroom was completely blocked by carts and boxes of merchandise. Boxes of stock stored in tiers were not properly stacked and secured to prevent them from sliding or collapsing on employees.

In addition, the storeroom’s exit doors were not clearly marked; a helium gas cylinder used to inflate balloons was not secured to prevent it from falling; and an aluminum ladder was stored against an electric panel. The proposed penalties reach $72,000.

“Hazards such as obstructed exit access can have devastating consequences if employees are unable to reach emergency exits in a fire or other incident, and falling stock can result in contusions and broken bones,” said Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director in Bridgeport.

“The recurring nature of these hazards is disturbing. Family Dollar must take effective action to ensure that hazards are eliminated and workers protected at all its stores.”

Family Dollar Stores of Connecticut Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bridgeport Area Office at 203-579-5581.

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