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Walmart Agrees To Improve Safety Conditions At More Than 2,800 Stores

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Wal-Mart has agreed to improve safety conditions for employees who use trash compactors and cleaning chemicals at more than 2,800 stores as part of a settlement agreement with the Labor Department.

The retail giant has also agreed to pay a $190,000 fine to fix hazards discovered during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at a store in Rochester, N.Y.

The agreement announced Wednesday covers 2,857 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in 28 states that follow federal OSHA standards. The 22 states that operate their own OSHA inspection programs could negotiate similar agreements.

Under the federal settlement, Wal-Mart has agreed to improve worker training programs for operating hazardous equipment and use of cleaning chemicals.

Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company immediately addressed the problems as soon as it was made aware of them.

"We have long-standing policies and training requirements in our stores designed to ensure the safety of our associates," he said.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. slipped 3 cents to finish at $77.37 on Wednesday.

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