Dollar Tree Stores Inc., faces more than $200,000 in penalties for exit and storage hazards at its Bloomfield store.

OSHA inspectors responding to a complaint at the store on Cottage Grove Road found emergency exits blocked by rolling conveyor equipment and merchandise.

They also found boxes of products stacked unsafely, creating the potential for falling loads, tripping, and fire hazards.

OSHA cited Dollar Tree Stores for two repeat violations for these conditions, and has cited the company many times in the past for similar hazards at stores across the country, including recently in Elmira, N.Y., and Falmouth, Mass.

The company faces $208,384 in penalties, OSHA said.

"Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has an extensive history of exposing workers to hazardous conditions," said OSHA Hartford area director Dale Varney.

"Improper storage of merchandise and blocked exit routes create unnecessary risks to workers and customers.

"This employer is legally responsible for ensuring workers are provided a safe workplace."

Dollar Tree has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to pay, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Additional information about OSHA requirements for keeping exits unobstructed is available in the agency's Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet.

OSHA's Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs includes information on how to identify and assess hazards in the workplace.

For more information, contact CBIA's Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).