Rite Aid in Trouble Again With OSHA in New York

Retailer is cited for fall, crushing, exit and electrical hazards in Brooklyn, NY and faces $111,100 in penalties for repeat and serious violations.

Example of ladder blocking an exit in a retail setting

OSHA has cited Rite Aid of New York Inc. for alleged repeat and serious safety violations at the retailer’s 7118 Third Ave. store in Brooklyn, N.Y. Rite Aid faces a total of $111,100 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office.

Several hazards in the Third Avenue location were found similar to those cited during inspections of Rite Aid stores in Bronx and Rome, N.Y. The recurring violations included shelves and boxes stored that blocked and narrowed an emergency exit route; unsecure piles of boxes subject to collapse; and workers exposed to falls of up to 10 feet with stacking boxes and totes on the unguarded edges of stairs. Three repeat citations totaled $104,500 in proposed penalties. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

“These conditions endangered workers to potential falls, crushing injuries and an encumbered emergency exit,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. “Having experienced similar conditions in other stores, Rite Aid should take action to identify and effectively eliminate hazards at all its workplaces.”

The Third Avenue store inspection also resulted in two serious safety citations, with $6,600 in fines, for a locked exit and lights not protected from damage. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The Rite Aid of New York citations are available at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/RiteAid.pdf*.

“This employer could have implemented and maintained an effective illness and injury prevention program whereby management and workers proactively identify and prevent hazards, and thus avoid repeat citations,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York.