Fine Fare Supermarkets faces $62,000 in fines after OSHA inspectors found that all five emergency exits at a store in Brooklyn were kept locked during the night shift. OSHA found that the only way workers could open the doors was to get a key from a supervisor.
OSHA inspectors said the locked doors were reminiscent of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that killed 146 Manhattan garment workers a century ago.
David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health said in a statement, “Conditions from 1911 should not continue to exist in 2011.”
OSHA standards require employees to be able to open an exit route door from inside at all times, without keys, tools or special knowledge.
The locked doors earned the grocery chain a willful violation citation worth $49,000 in fines. The company also faces four serious violations totaling $13,000 for obstructed exit routes and trip hazards.
Tip: Regular inspections of emergency exit routes save lives and money. Have security personnel check exit routes as part of their routine patrols.