A federal agency is proposing $217,000 in fines against the Dollar Tree Stores Inc., for worker safety violations in Missoula.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Montana issued four citations. The willful violations include failure to keeping exit routes unobstructed, storing materials in unstable and unsecured ways and using space around electrical equipment for storage. It was also cited for a repeat violation of failing to handle and store compressed helium gas cylinders securely.

Dollar Tree Stores has 15 business days to pay the fine, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director Jeff Funke of Billings, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Dollar Tree officials did not return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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