Employees at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores across the country may soon have safer workplace conditions. A recent agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor requires Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to improve workplace conditions in all of its 2,857 stores.
The settlement comes in resolution of two workplace safety inspection cases. In 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Wal-Mart after it found 24 repeated serious violations of workplace safety at the Wal-Mart in Rochester, N.Y.
An inspection found fall hazards, obstructions at exit routes, an unguarded grinder, lack of training for employees in using personal protection equipment, absence of lockout/tag out procedures, lack of facial and eye protection gear for workers, and lack of information and training on the storage and management of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. OSHA imposed fines of $365,000. However, Wal-Mart has now agreed to settle for $190,000.
OSHA had found similar violations between 2008 and 2010 at other stores, including the Wal-Mart in Rincon, Ga.
Under the settlement, Wal-Mart has agreed to make sure the trash compacters remain locked when not in use, improve its hazard communications training and establish procedures to ensure that employees do not come into contact with undiluted cleaning chemicals. The company will also establish effective protocols that will be triggered when there is any malfunction of the store’s cleaning chemical dispensing equipment.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned. Contact us to learn about your legal options.