DOL Issues $600,000 in Citations against Supermarket Chain
The Boston office of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has lodged a formal complaint against DeMoulas Super Markets Inc; a company with over 60 stores throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s review commission, the complaint seeks an order for the supermarket chain to adhere to OSHA safety standards in regards to protections in place to prevent fall and laceration injuries. The complaint comes after the detection of numerous safety violations during OSHA inspections of various DeMoulas stores.
Citations totaling nearly $600,000 have been levied against the supermarket chain and being contested by DeMoulas to OSHA’s review commission. The complaints filed by the DOL assert that employees at several DeMoulas grocery stores were regularly exposed to fall hazards resulting from unguarded work and storage areas, such as lofts and the tops of freezers. Additionally, the company is also accused of failing to protect employees against laceration hazards in several grocery departments including product, deli, and baker sections. The company was identified as not having properly analyzed jobs requiring the use of cutting instruments and was not implementing safeguards such as hand protection measures.
Injuries resulting from failure to comply with OSHA standards include bodily damage incurred during an April 2011 incident where an employee fell 11 feet from an unguarded storage balcony. A similar event also occurred in 2007. The company also allegedly failed to complete job hazard analyses promised to OSHA in 2006. This resulted in at least 40 hand laceration injuries between 2008 and 2011. The company has been given 20 days from its receipt of the notice of complaint to respond.