One of the most important ways that employers can protect the rights of their workers is to adhere to safety standards in every way possible. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, two Massachusetts Target locations have failed to do this by keeping certain exit doors blocked. This can make it more difficult for workers to escape in the event of an emergency and increase the chance of workplace accidents.
Inspectors found that the doors were blocked by things that would be difficult and cumbersome to move quickly if needed. These included carts, boxes of products, ladders, equipment and even one truck. The fines for these types of safety violations are serious, and in this case they amounted to $227,000. The stores claim that after the inspection revealed the issue the safety concerns were quickly addressed.
This is not the first time that a Target location has been in trouble with OSHA over blocked emergency exits. Like customers visiting the premises, workers must have unhindered access to exits in the event that an emergency occurs. Protecting the well-being of workers means developing a culture of safety and taking steps to ensure that all unnecessary hazards are removed.
Workplace accidents can happen at the safest of jobs, but employers should still strive to make their places of business as safe as reasonably possible. When an accident does occur and a Massachusetts worker suffers an injury, that individual is likely entitled to pursue financial support through a workers’ compensation claim. These benefits typically cover lost wages and medical expenses associated with the accident, with additional benefits available in specified circumstances.