Wal-Mart to Upgrade Conditions at 2,800 Stores
Wal-Mart has agreed to improve the health and safety conditions of all 2,857 of its stores under U.S. federal jurisdiction, according to a Labor Department press release issued today.
The announcement resolves two enforcement cases that began back in 2011 in Rochester, N.Y., and centered on corporatewide issues related to trash compactors, cleaning chemicals, and hazard communications.
"This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Wal-Mart workers safe and healthy on the job," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a statement today. "We hope this sends a strong message that the law requires employers to provide safe working conditions, and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law."
Among the many protocol changes in store, the company will allow only trained employees to operate trash compactors, ensure that staff aren't handling undiluted chemicals, and put protocol in place to deal with faulty chemical dispensing equipment.
As of this writing, Wal-Mart has not released any company statement regarding its agreement with the Labor Department. The company will pay $190,000 in civil penalties for its original infractions .
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