Thursday, August 15, 2013

OSHA Fines Walmart For Safety Violations

OSHA Fines Walmart Over Safety Violations
A Walmart store
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Walmart $190,000 after a safety investigation revealed the retailer was putting its workers in danger. In a Rochester, NY Walmart investigation, workers were found to be in danger when using trash compactors and cleaning up chemicals.

Under the settlement between OSHA and Walmart, the retailer has agreed to lock their trash compactors when they are not in use, to have a supervisor present when operating the compactor, and to provide their employees with proper chemical safety training.

According to OSHA, Walmart has endangered its employees by blocking exits, exposing them to amputation hazards, potential electrolyte exposure, and exposure to blood borne pathogens. In the last 5 years, Walmart has had over 100 OSHA violations in its stores.

The settlement will apply to 2,857 Walmart and Sam's Club stores. Additionally, Walmart must hire a monitor to check compliance within the nationwide stores every four months for two years. Walmart representative Randy Hargrove told USA Today that the retailer would go beyond the legal settlement and apply these safety changes in all 4,691 Walmart and Sam's Club locations. The retailer got off somewhat cheaply as it could have paid double the amount due to its several citations.

"This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Walmart workers safe and healthy on the job," stated OSHA assistant secretary Dr. David Michaels. "We hope this sends a strong message that the law requires employers to provide safe working conditions, and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law."

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