Dollar Tree Accused of "Endangering Everyone" Who Shops There
The dollar store has been hit with more concerning citations.
Many of us head to our nearest Dollar Tree when we're looking for a good discount, but that's not all you might find when shopping at these dollar stores. The discount retailer is now facing concerning new complaints over dangerous conditions at its stores—and customers could be at serious risk as a result. Read on to find out why Dollar Tree is being accused of "endangering everyone" who shops there.
Dollar Tree is being cited for new safety concerns.
Officials have discovered concerning conditions at a Dollar Tree store in Texas. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported on Feb. 23 that it has issued new citations to Dollar Tree Inc. after conducting an inspection at the company's store in Mount Pleasant.
According to the press release, OSHA opened an inspection at this store in Sept. 2022. Through its investigation, the agency found the Mount Pleasant Dollar Tree to be guilty of three repeat violations that have been categorized as "serious."
As a result, OSHA is proposing $254,478 worth of penalty fines against the discount retailer. "Dollar Tree Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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," the agency explained in its release.
Officials say the retailer is "endangering" shoppers.
Dollar Tree is being cited for three different violations following the inspection of its Mount Pleasant store: obstructed exit routes, blocked walkways, and unsafe storage. According to the citations, both its emergency exits at the back of the store were blocked by storage racks or merchandise, "restricting the exit route."
Inspectors also found potential trip hazards due to mop buckets and boxes strewn across walking areas, as well as possible falling object hazards due to storage boxes being stacked over nine feet in height.
But while OSHA is fining Dollar Tree for "shortchanging employee safety," officials say that this is also creating concerning conditions for shoppers as well.
"In the event of an emergency, workers and others must have fast and safe access to unblocked exit routes," Eric S. Harbin, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas, said in a statement. "Retailers like Dollar Tree that fail to make sure their stores' storage areas are organized and safe are endangering everyone who works and shops there."
In a statement to Best Life, Dollar Tree spokesperson Kristin Tetreault said that the company is taking the concerns identified at its Mount Pleasant store "seriously," and has already "remediated the issues."
This is not the first time Dollar Tree has been cited for safety issues.
In its new press release, OSHA said that the recent violations found at the Mount Pleasant Dollar Tree indicate that the retailer is "continuing a pattern of disregard" that dates all the way back to 2017.
Over the last six years, both federal and state OSHA programs have conducted more than 500 inspections at different Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores operated by Dollar Tree Inc., and have identified over 300 violations as a result, according to the agency.
"Blocked exit routes, unsafe working areas and unsafely stacked boxes and merchandise are all-too-commonly found by workplace safety inspectors," OSHA explained.
Back in Aug. 2022, Dollar Tree Inc. was notably fined more than $1.2 million in penalties after numerous "hazardous conditions" were found at two Family Dollar stores in Ohio.
But the retailer says it is committed to ensuring safety.
@stargirlmb @dollartree ????? You kidding me ??? Is this a prank ???? This not crazy ??? & no im not gonna snitch on what location this is, but yall gotta figure it out smh. This made my shopping experience TERRIBLE !!! #dollartree #dollartreefinds #fyp ♬ original sound – stargirlMB
Officials aren't the only one calling out Dollar Tree for safety concerns—shoppers have also pointed out unsavory conditions at this retailer's stores.
Last month, a viral TikTok video filmed at an unnamed Dollar Tree location showcased piles of products scattered across aisles and boxes blocking shelves. "This is ridiculous," user @stargirlmb said in her Jan. 2023 video. "This can't be a store looking like this. You can't even really walk."
The TikTok user said the store's conditions made her shopping experience "terrible," and other users sounded off in the comments about witnessing similar situations at other Dollar Tree locations.
In response to both the Mount Pleasant violations and the viral TikTok video, the company said it is committed to ensuring safety in its stores. "At Dollar Tree we are focused on maintaining a safe environment for our associates and customers and ensuring our stores comply with all health and safety regulations," Tetreault said.