DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited TMT Inc. with four serious safety violations following an aggravated robbery that resulted in the death of an employee at the company's Whip In convenience store in Garland.
OSHA's Dallas Area Office opened an investigation at the Garland store in May after an employee working at the checkout counter was seriously assaulted during a robbery and later died from second- and third-degree burns. OSHA also investigated the company's three other stores in Dallas and Mesquite, and found that workers at those locations were exposed to the same or similar workplace violence hazards.
"Handling money, working alone and standing behind open counters leaves employees vulnerable to violent crimes," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "If the employer had conducted an analysis to identify risk for violence, implemented appropriate control measures and provided training to ensure awareness of potential violence, it is possible that this tragic loss of life could have been avoided."
Each store was cited with violating OSHA's "general duty clause" for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The citations carry total proposed penalties of $19,600.
Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening and disruptive behavior that occurs at a work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. More information on workplace violence is available at OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence.
TMT, which is headquartered in Dallas, employs more than 60 employees across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Dallas office at 214-320-2400.
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 working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.