NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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, located in the Garden State Plaza mall, 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, at 1540 Broadway, including obstructed exit routes and fluorescent lights with no covers. OSHA also issued what’s known as a serious citation 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.”
A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer’s facilities in the U.S. within five years of a previous citation. The company was previously cited for these violations in 2012. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Forever 21 has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Both citations were dated Jan. 2.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast