Why was Home Depot slapped with three safety violations and more than $50,000 in fines?

Posted by admin on May 24, 2012

When it comes to home repairs or remodeling, many people turn to one store: Home Depot. Whether they are looking to buy a new sink, or repair a hole in their floor, this home goods store has a reputation for high-quality products and excellent customer service.

However, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently discovered that a Home Depot store in Saratoga Springs, New York, may be taking better care of its customers than employees, as it was cited for safety violations and consequently, fined $51,480.

What were Home Depot's OSHA Violations?

Two serious violations issued involved uncovered openings in electric panels and missing breakers. Furthermore, OSHA investigators discovered an employee who was using a saw without protective eye goggles. These violations amounted to $7,480.

One repeat violation was issued because OSHA officials found that employees were working around eight electrical equipment panels, which in the event of an emergency, would have blocked access to circuit breakers. Home Depot stores in Vineland, New Jersey and Keene, New Hampshire were cited for similar violations earlier in 2012 and in 2010. This repeat citations equaled $44,000.

A Home Depot spokesman said the the company "takes the safety of our associates and these claims very seriously. We look forward to discussing these claims with OSHA. Home Depot has an industry leading health and safety program. We hold every store to the same high standard."

The Atlanta-based business has not revealed whether the fines will be paid, a meeting will be requested with OSHA officials or the fines and citations will be appealed.

This incident highlights the importance of maintaining compliance with OSHA. That means making sure all OSHA logs are up to do date and properly recording any accidents or deaths. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines and citations.

Tags: Safety Management

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