Enforcement and Inspection, Personnel Safety

OSHA Cites TJX for Hazards at T.J. Maxx Store

On November 29, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it had cited TJX Companies, Inc., with two repeat violations and one serious violation, with proposed penalties totaling $239,290. Federal inspectors found merchandise stacked and stored unsafely at a Pooler, Georgia, T.J. Maxx store, exposing workers to struck-by hazards from falling boxes and preventing them from exiting the store quickly in an emergency. OSHA also found the employer failed to keep the storage and receiving room free from an excess number of cardboard boxes and other trash, which exposed workers to slip, trip, and fall hazards.

Framingham, Massachusetts-based TJX Companies operates HomeGoods, HomeSense, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Sierra stores nationwide.

OSHA cited T.J. Maxx locations in Peoria, Illinois, in January 2022 and in Jacksonville, Florida, in May 2020 for similar violations.

“The U.S. Department of Labor will not allow employers like TJX Companies Inc. to put their workers at risk by repeatedly violating federal safety standards,” Jerred Stevens, OSHA’s acting Savannah area office director, said in an agency statement. “These standards exist to protect workers from needless harm during their routine workday, especially in an emergency. The hazards often found in busy retail stores are easily addressed but, left ignored, they can jeopardize workers.”

OSHA has cited discount retailers Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar for similar violations—improperly stacked cartons and blocked exit routes, as well as blocked or locked emergency exits and blocked electrical panels. The standards most frequently cited in the retail trade are the agency’s powered industrial trucks, hazard communication, maintenance of exit routes, electrical, and portable fire extinguishers standards.

OSHA cited Dollar General Corp. and its parent Dolgencorp LLC again on November 18 with 4 repeat violations, with $341,842 in new proposed penalties.

OSHA cites Wisconsin roofer for willful fall protection violations

On November 29, OSHA announced it cited Hector Able Hernandez, doing business as Town City Construction, with three willful and two serious safety violations. The agency also announced $349,371 in new penalties for the employer.

The Appleton, Wisconsin, roofer has a history of exposing employees to dangerous fall hazards, according to the agency. OSHA has repeatedly cited Town City Construction for exposing employees to fall hazards and proposed $633,500 in penalties—still mostly unpaid, according to the agency—for similar violations found during 16 inspections since 2004.

In May and June of this year, OSHA inspectors observed roofing workers at heights greater than 6 feet at risk of serious or fatal injuries at 2 Appleton-area jobsites. On May 16 in Greenville and on June 24 in Appleton, federal inspectors found Hernandez had employed 15 workers at the 2 sites for 2 weeks or less. The agency cited the employers for failing to provide eye, head, and fall protection and train workers on fall hazards.

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection and fall protection training standards are among the agency’s 10 most frequently cited standards. Falls from elevation were responsible for 351 deaths in 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

“Hector Able Hernandez continually puts vulnerable workers at risk by blatantly ignoring federal workplace safety laws that help protect workers from serious and sometimes fatal fall injuries,” Robert Bonack, OSHA’s Appleton, Wisconsin, area director, said in an agency statement. “Falls are one of deadliest hazards in the construction industry, and yet Town City Construction knowingly fails to fulfill its responsibility to ensure worker safety.”