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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Why OSHA is Calling Out Dollar General Over Blocked Fire Exits

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are concerned over Dollar General’s alleged lack of respect for fire exit safety. According to officials, Dollar General has faced repeated citations at stores nationwide, including here in Ohio. Since 2010, OSHA officials have fined Dollar General stores for more than 100 safety violations. Many of these fines were for blocked fire exits or other fire hazards.

A former policy analyst with the Department of Labor wrote a letter to district attorneys in multiple states over Dollar General’s alleged lack of fire safety. In his letter, he describes a witness account of one of the most devastating workplace fires in history. His letter is a reminder of what happens when businesses neglect fire safety.

In 1911, a graduate student in New York City walked past the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory right after it caught fire. The witness recalls seeing people jumping from the 10th and 11th floors to escape the flames. By the time the fire was put out, more than 147 people had died. An investigation into the incident found many of the workers would not have died if fire exits were unobstructed.

Does Your Workplace Have Safe Fire Exits?

There are many requirements for exit routes and the doors they use. Doors to exits must remain unlocked from the inside. Exit routes cannot use devices or alarms that restrict their use. It is important for fire exits to remain visible and unblocked.

There also must be an adequate number of exits. This can vary depending on the size of a workplace. During a fire, workers and customers are going to bolt for the nearest doors. A limited number of exits makes it difficult, if not impossible, for everyone to get out safely.

These are only a handful of the regulations on exit routes. It is important for businesses to follow these workplace safety regulations to prevent workers from suffering severe burns or death.

Workers injured by dangerous workplace conditions or their family members may have options for compensation in addition to workers comp. The Ohio workers comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC can help family members explore available options.

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