Andover, MA-(WorkersCompensation.com) Target Corp., has been cited by OSHA for having blocked emergency exits at two of its stores, in Danvers and Framingham, Mass. The national retailer faces a steep fine of $227,304 in penalties. Since 2015, the company has been cited for hazardous conditions in 11 stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
An OSHA spokesperson tells WorkersCompensation.com that after receiving complaints from workers in the two stores, they decided to conduct inspections. According to the Citations and Notification Penalty, on July 10, 2019, the agency inspected a Target store in Framingham and cited the company for several Willful violations. In the fixture aisle, which is located in the backroom storage area, fire exit routes were not kept free or unobstructed by objects such as, but not limited to, packing boxes, products, and a powered industrial truck.
When OSHA inspectors revisited the store in August they found the backroom storage area was not kept free or unobstructed by objects.
After an inspection at the other store in August the company was cited for the serious violation of having an electrical box that was not securely mounted, and a willful violation for a fire exit that was not kept free or unobstructed by objects such as, but not limited to, portable ladders, products, and aisle walls.
“OSHA has cited Target Corp. several times for exposing workers to hazards that restrict their ability to exit a store in an emergency quickly,” said OSHA Andover Area Executive Director Anthony Covello in a press release. “Employers are required the keep exit routes free and unobstructed.”
A spokesperson for OSHA also told WorkersCompensation.com that “Employers are required to keep exit routes free and unobstructed.”
In a media release, the Target Corp., says its representatives have visited both stores after the citations last summer and “worked quickly to ensure full OSHA compliance.” They also said, “The safety of our team and guests is our top priority.” Target Corp does have the right to contest the findings before an independent review commission.