The home decorating store Pier 1 was recently cited for safety violations following an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation last September. According to the official press release, the infractions were considered repeat and serious. The Staten Island, New York, location was also reportedly fined more than $45,000.
The two repeat citations amounted to a penalty of $28,600. OSHA officials discovered that Pier 1 neglected clear the workspace for employees and maintain an exit route that was free of any barriers. Similar violations were reported at an Acton, Massachusetts location in April 2011.
The final three infractions involved neglecting to properly stockpile store items, keep storage areas free from obstruction and train employees on how to handle dangerous chemicals. These transgressions totaled $16,500. OSHA defines a serious citation as one that is likely to cause harm and should have been recognized by the employer.
"Pier 1 Imports has demonstrated a disregard for their workers' safety by failing to correct hazards previously brought to their attention," Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel, New Jersey, area office, said in a statement. "Employers are responsible for ensuring employees have a safe and healthy work environment."
Pier 1 has two weeks to decide whether it will pay the fine, request an informal meeting with OSHA officials or go through the appeals process.
In an email, a spokeswoman for the retailer told local new source the Staten Island Advance that, "The safety of our customers and associates is important to Pier 1 Imports. We strive to ensure that our associates have a safe work environment and that our customers have a safe, enjoyable shopping experience."
All employers should do what they can to ensure that their workplace is hazard-free. That means, adhering to OSHA standards and hanging safety posters. If you have any questions on how to keep your workplace safe, don't hesitate to log onto OSHA's website, www.OSHA.gov.
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