The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Guess Factory Store at the Tanger Outlet Mall at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., with two workplace safety standards and proposed fines totaling $65,000.
OSHA said a blocked emergency exit and improperly stored stock put the employees of the store at risk of burns, lacerations and being struck by falling objects, following an investigation.
Responding to a complaint, OSHA began an inspection on March 3 and said it found the employer allowed several “hazardous conditions.” These included obstruction of the store’s emergency exit route by boxes containing clothes, shoes and hangers, as well as by a folding table; access to electrical panels that power the store’s operations blocked by several boxes of clothing and hangers, eight storage shelves and two extension ladders, and stacked boxes of hangers, shoes and accessories in the storage room and in the bathroom that were in danger of toppling onto employees.
“These were obvious and easily preventable conditions that placed store employees needlessly at risk,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford, Conn. “Overstocking and improper stocking of goods prevents employees from exiting the workplace swiftly and safely in the event of a fire or other emergency. This is not the first time that Guess has been cited for blocked access. To ensure the well-being of its employees, Guess must effectively address these issues at all its locations.”
OSHA cited Guess for two repeat violations, one serious violation and one other-than-serious violation of workplace safety standards and proposed fines of $65,000. The repeat transgression stems from similar violations cited in 2013 at the Guess store at Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, N.J. The other-than-serious violation is for the Foxwoods store’s failure to post a notice informing employees of their rights to a safe and healthful workplace and to contact OSHA with questions and concerns.
Los Angeles-based Guess Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Guess designs, markets, distributes and licenses a lifestyle collection of contemporary apparel, denim, handbags, watches, footwear and other related consumer products. As of Jan. 30, OSHA the company directly operated 835 stores in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company’s licensees and distributors operated 804 additional stores worldwide.
Guess did not respond to a request for comment.