A federal workplace safety inspection of the Macy’s department store in Aventura by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found employees at risk due to repeated and serious violations related to blocked exits, improper housekeeping and electric shock hazards.
Since 2007, OSHA has inspected Macy’s Inc. locations 42 times and issued citations for blocked exits, obstructed access to electrical disconnect panels and using flexible cords instead of permanent wiring.
With approximately 157,900 workers nationwide in about 870 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, Macy’s is one of the nation’s largest retailers and is based in Ohio.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Jan. 15, 2016, in Aventura after receiving a complaint concerning several workplace injuries and hazards. The agency’s inspectors then cited Macy’s and The Finish Line of Indiana, doing business as The Finish Line Inc., for 14 safety and health violations. An athletic footwear, apparel and accessories retailer, The Finish Line rents space in Macy’s stores.
Some $103K in Penalties
Combined, Macy’s and The Finish Line face $103,220 in penalties.
OSHA issued three repeated citations to Macy’s for:
- Allowing access to electrical disconnect switches to be blocked with metal racks, boxes and a ladder.
- Exposing workers to electric shock hazards by using flexible cable instead of fixed wiring.
- Exposing employees to fire hazards due to exit routes not being clearly marked.
The serious citations relate to Macy’s:
- Improper housekeeping in the receiving and storage areas.
- Allowing exit doors to be locked with a padlock.
- Not ensuring exit routes are kept free and unobstructed.
- Exposing workers to electric shock hazards due to unprotected wiring entering an outlet box and a missing ground pin on an electrical plug.
The agency also cited two serious violations to The Finish Line for failure to keep the storage area clean and free from clutter and blocking exit routes.
In addition, OSHA cited Macy’s for three other-than-serious violations for a lack of exit route signs, not providing signs on doors that are not an exit and failing to mount and identify the location of fire extinguishers. The Finish Line was also issued one other-than-serious citation for failing to mount fire extinguishers.
The companies were provided with 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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