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Obstructed Exits, Wiring Cited at Macy’s, Finish Line

Obstructed exits at Macy's and The Finish Line in Florida lead to citations by OSHA.The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently conducted an inspection of a Florida-based Macy’s location and issued 14 citations to both Macy’s and The Finish Line for numerous safety and health violations. The most recent inspection, conducted on Jan. 15, 2016, in Aventura, Florida, came as a result of a complaint, filed in relation to several workplace injuries. OSHA determined that the Macy’s and Finish Line workplaces were hazardous, due to violations involving obstructed exits and electrical wiring.

Macy’s Inc., a multi-national retailer based in Ohio, has undergone inspection by OSHA over 40 times and has repeatedly been cited for similar violations, involving obstructed exits, obstructed access to electrical disconnect panels, and the use of flexible cords instead of permanent wiring, at different locations. The Finish Line, an Indiana-based company, was located within the Macy’s store and shared the burden of a joint inspection.

The proposed penalty to Macy’s and The Finish Line totaled $103,220.

Repeated citations issued to Macy’s included:

  • Access to electrical disconnect switches were blocked
  • Workers were exposed to electric-shock hazards due to use of flexible cable, as opposed to fixed wiring
  • Employees were exposed to fire hazards, due to exit routes not being clearly marked

Serious citations issued to Macy’s included:

  • Improper housekeeping in the receiving and storage areas
  • Exit doors were allowed to be locked with a padlock
  • Obstructed exits blocking routes
  • Employees were exposed to electric-shock hazards, due to unprotected wiring entering an outlet box and a missing ground-pin on an electrical plug

Serious citations issued to The Finish Line included:

  • Failure to keep the storage area clean
  • Obstructed exits blocking routes

OSHA cited Macy’s for three “other-than-serious” violations for a lack of exit route signs, not providing signs on non-exit doors, and failing to mount and identify the location of fire extinguishers. The Finish Line was issued one “other-than-serious” citation for failing to mount fire extinguishers.

Many violations are easily identifiable and preventable. OSHA-approved general industry courses are a recommended measure of training for employers and employees.