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Heavy Boxes Fall from Big Lots’ Shelves and Seriously Injure Employee

Discount retailer Big Lots Stores Inc. is facing $66,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after an employee was injured at a store location in Danvers, Massachusetts. The store’s assistant manager wound up in the hospital after being struck by several falling boxes of patio furniture and other items. The boxes, which were being kept in the store’s rear stockroom, weighed up to 53 pounds each. If you’ve been injured at work, call a Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorney.

Danvers’ Big Lots Store Cited for Cluttered Aisles and Improperly Stacked Boxes

Following an investigation by OSHA, it was determined that the accident was a result of negligence. Boxes were stacked high throughout the storeroom and many were haphazardly placed in an unstable condition. The aisles of the storeroom presented another problem. They were cluttered with an array of items, including broken wooden pallets, boxes of stock, and pieces of cardboard. Conditions like these are dangerous for multiple reasons. The most obvious issue with clogged walkways is the inability to quickly exit the building in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Additionally, employees can trip and fall in such conditions, leading to broken bones, sprains, and many other injuries.

In response to the store’s conditions, and the injuries suffered as a result, Big Lots Stores Inc. received citations for two repeated violations. OSHA had cited the company previously in 2014 for similar issues at store locations in Warner Robins, Georgia, and West Babylon, New York. The subsequent citation was issued on October 2, 2015, and Big Lots Stores Inc. must respond appropriately within 15 days. To fulfill this requirement, the discount retailer must comply with the demands issued in the citation, request a conference with OSHA, or contest the citation and any associated penalties.

Every Workplace Has Potential Hazards

OSHA’s proposed penalties are $66,000 for the above case. In response to the accident in Danvers, OSHA’s Andover area director, Anthony Covello, issued a statement. “Every workplace-including a retail store-has potential hazards. Unsafely stacked stock resulted in serious and avoidable injuries for this Big Lots employee. For the safety and well-being of all its employees, Big Lots must promptly and effectively address these hazards at all its locations to prevent future injuries,” said Covello.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

If you have been injured in any type of work related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe, healthy working environment for employees at all times. However, workers’ compensation benefits can be awarded even if negligence is not a factor. Most work injuries, even if they were your fault, are covered by workers’ comp. The legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP, has been protecting the rights of Boston’s workforce for nearly 50 years. We will sit down with you to review the details of your case, and help you determine the best way to proceed. Determining workers’ comp benefits can be a lengthy and complicated process. Errors on benefits’ applications often result in delay. It is immensely beneficial to have a skilled workers’ comp attorney guide you through the entire process. We have helped countless clients obtain the benefits they deserve following a work injury. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.

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