DOL seeks relief for company-wide hazards at grocery store chain

Washington – For the first time ever, the Department of Labor is seeking to require a private-sector employer to initiate company-wide fixes for hazards found at numerous company locations, OSHA announced Jan. 18.

DOL’s regional solicitor’s office in Boston filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, asking the commission to order DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc. to comply with OSHA’s fall and laceration standards at all of its Market Basket grocery store locations.

The Tewksbury, MA-based grocery chain has more than 60 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. OSHA inspections at several store locations have uncovered numerous alleged violations, and the company has a history of employee fall and hand laceration injuries, according to an agency press release. The company was recently fined $589,000 for alleged violations related to such hazards and failing to properly respond to a serious fall injury.

This marks the second time DOL has sought company-wide relief from an employer for hazards. The department filed a complaint against the U.S. Postal Service in July 2010, requesting that the government agency correct electrical violations at 350 facilities throughout the country. That matter is pending, OSHA said.

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