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Fed regulators slap Ohio Home Depot store for safety violations

Saying that “it continues to dismiss a culture of safety as a priority,” an official from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced fines against national retailer Home Depot for multiple safety infractions observed at one Ohio store.

That store, in Reynoldsburg, was cited recently for eight safety violations and assessed a fine of $150,000. A number of the citations noted conditions that clearly increased the risks of on-the-job injuries for store employees.

In noting the dangerous work environment, Deborah Zubaty -- OSHA’s area director in Columbus -- especially alluded to a number of high-risk conditions that had already been identified by agency inspectors in the past. Zubaty said that Home Depot’s failure to remedy those known problems evidenced “a lack of commitment to worker safety and health.”

Seven of the eight citations related to repeat violations at both the Reynoldsburg outlet and other Home Depot stores across the country over a recent multi-year period. Many instances were pointed to of deficiencies that put workers at risk of suffering electrical and burn injuries.

Those included a failure to adequately inspect electrical cords, resulting in the use of cords with insufficient electrical grounding and damaged insulation; not properly closing unused electrical openings; using the wrong type of electrical wiring; and exposing store employees to live electricity at high voltage amounts.

Additional infractions were also noted, which included insufficient record keeping and failure to adequately handle flammable liquids during their transfer.

Workplace injuries are, for obvious reasons, a close and constant concern in all industries. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can answer questions and provide staunch representation to any worker who has suffered an on-the-job accident or injury.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, "OSHA fines Home Depot $150K in Ohio," Jacques couret, Aug. 26, 2013

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