OSHA proposes $236K in safety fines for Forever 21

New York -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited fashion retail chain Forever 21 for exposing employees to safety hazards at its stores in Paramus, N.J., and Manhattan. OSHA inspected both stores in July after receiving complaints alleging violations and proposed $236,500 in penalties.

Inspectors cited the company for four repeat violations at the Paramus store, including obstructed exit routes; a fire extinguisher that was not mounted and readily accessible; stored material that was not secured against sliding or collapse; and fluorescent lights that had no cover to prevent accidental contact or breakage.

Inspectors issued citations for two repeat violations to the Manhattan store, including obstructed exit routes and fluorescent lights with no covers. A serious citation was also issued because the store was not kept clean and orderly.

“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’s 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.