OSHA cites Pier 1 for Glendale store safety issues

Citations say storage areas lacked railings

Forth Worth, Texas-based Pier 1 Imports faces more than $100,000 in fines for workplace safety violations found at its Glendale store, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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OSHA announced the fines, stemming from a November inspection at the 6010 N. Port Washington Road store. The fines include improperly using ladders, a lack of railings in stair and storage areas, blocking electrical panels and not having covers on electrical junction boxes.

“Haphazardly stacked boxes can fall and injure workers, or block exit routes in an emergency,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Pier 1 must take responsibility to ensure the safety of its workers in all of its stores before someone is hurt or worse.”

A manager at the store referred questions to the company’s corporate offices. Spokesperson Jennifer Engstrand offered the following statement via email:

“The safety of Pier 1 Imports’ associates is of the utmost importance. We strive to ensure that our associates have a safe work environment. Pier 1 Imports is fully cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the recent matter. We are not able to share any additional information at this time.

According to the citations issued by OSHA:

  • Employees were using a 10-foot step ladder to reach storage areas, having to step horizontally on and off to reach the area.
  • Two loft areas had no fixed stairs to provide access for employees and did not have markings to indicate the floor load limit
  • Those loft areas, located almost 9 feet above the ground, had no railings.
  • The path to the back exit was blocked by boxes of merchandise.
  • Boxes were not stacked safely.
  • The electrical circuit breaker was blocked by a merchandise cart.
  • An electrical junction box in the Papasan/cushion loft area was missing a cover plate.

The company, which operates more than 1,000 stores, has 15 business days to request an informal conference to discuss the citations or contest them.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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