Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have reached a settlement agreement with the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a case regarding safety concerns at thousands of its stores nationwide, according to a release from OSHA.

The settlement agreement requires the two staple discount store chains conduct a "comprehensive, nationwide assessment of the root causes of the violations OSHA has repeatedly cited at multiple stores, with a plan to identify causes and make operational changes to correct them within a two-year period."

The settlement follows an OSHA case that claimed thousands of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores had blocked fire exits, poor access to fire extinguishers and electrical panels, and improper material storage. These specific violations have a much stricter timeline, just 48 hours after notification, to be fixed due to their direct safety impacts.

Failure to fix these more immediate concerns will result in $100,000 in fines per day, up to $500,000, as well as further OSHA inspections and enforcement actions. 

"This agreement focuses on improving working conditions at thousands of stores nationwide," said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. "Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have agreed to significant investments to more effectively identify and correct the root causes of the hazards most commonly found during OSHA inspections, including blocked exits and unstable stacking of materials."

As part of the settlement, the companies have also agreed to pay $1.35 million in penalties to settle existing inspections and violations.