Among their many duties, employers must provide a safe working environment for their employees. Failing to do so may lead to the employer being held legally responsible for injuries suffered due to hazards that should have been remedied. Because of this, it is not uncommon for some injuries to merit both workers’ compensation benefits as well as monetary damages (money paid) from a personal injury lawsuit due to an employer’s negligence.
Before someone is seriously injured, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will attempt to deter such behavior by levying fines. The amount of the fines will vary depending on the severity of the violation and whether it is a repeat violation.
In the case of Dollar General, it is not surprising that the low-cost retailer is facing stiff fines after regulators found materials too close to electrical panels, as well as boxes blocking emergency exits. A recent businessinsurance.com report highlighted how safety regulators had fined the retailer in March for similar violations. In fact, Dollar General had seen more than $100,000 in OSHA fines since 2010.
The company released a statement expressing its commitment to worker safety pledging to make immediate changes in adherence with OSHA’s recommendations. Nevertheless, the repeat violations may suggest a culture where workers may be unwilling to speak out about safety issues, or to seek remedies when injured.
Because of this, workers should be reminded that they are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury. If you have questions about the process of obtaining benefits, an experienced attorney can assist you.