HARTSHORNE, Okla. (KFOR) – Two Dollar General stores in southeast Oklahoma have been cited for fire hazards.

Federal workplace safety investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened inspections in December of 2022 at two Dollar General stores in southeast Oklahoma.

OSHA investigators say they found boxes of merchandise blocking walkways at the stores in Hartshorne and Wilburton, which could prevent employees from evacuating in an emergency.

Officials say these are the same types of violations that investigators found in stores across the nation.

OSHA issued Dollar General Corp. citations for two repeat and three serious violations and proposed $267,622 in penalties.

“Dollar General continues to ignore federal safety standards that would protect its employees and others in its stores,” said OSHA Area Director Stephen Kirby in Oklahoma City. “Our inspectors routinely identify hazards caused by poor housekeeping, unsafe storage and by walkways and exits blocked by merchandise. These conditions must be corrected before serious injuries or worse occur in an emergency.”

In 12 inspections in Alabama, Florida, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin, OSHA cited Dollar General stores for dozens of violations and proposed nearly $4.5 million in penalties for these inspections.

Since 2017, OSHA has found violations in more than 240 inspections at U.S. stores operated by Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC and proposed more than $21 million in penalties.

Dollar General has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.