US: Forever 21 facing health and safety fines
Teen-oriented fast fashion retailer Forever 21 is facing fines of nearly US$250,000 for exposing its staff to a number of alleged health and safety hazards.
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the chain for several repeat health and safety offences at its stores in Paramus, New Jersey, and Manhattan.
Following site visits in July last year, inspectors recommended imposing penalties totalling $236,500 for four repeat violations at Paramus: obstructed exit routes, an unmounted fire extinguisher, unsecured stored material and uncovered fluorescent lights.
They also claimed to have found two repeat violations at Manhattan – obstructed exit routes and fluorescent lights without covers – as well as a serious citation for not keeping the store in a clean and orderly state.
“It is unacceptable for Forever 21 to continue repeating these violations, which are common among retailers, and put workers at serious risk,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA regional administrator in New York.
“Retail managers have a legal responsibility to inspect their stores, identify potential hazards and quickly eliminate them to ensure worker safety and health.”
The alleged violations follow similar citations in 2012 against Forever 21, which has 15 business days to respond to the latest allegations.
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