Following up on Home Depot Inc.'s past violations of safety regulations in 2010 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) handed down yet another list of regulatory violations, including one repeat violation, to the major home goods provider.
OSHA defines a repeat violation as one similar to any previous violation of a regulation that occurs within five years of the prior incident. The most recent violation was related to the company's use of space surrounding circuit breakers for storage, which the organization said would restrict worker access to the systems in an emergency.
OSHA cited Home Depot for two additional serious violations: the absence of breakers for electrical panels as well as numerous uncovered panels, and a lack of protective eyewear for saw operators. A serious violation is defined by OSHA as when there is a heightened risk of serious injury or death as a result of a known hazard or gross employer negligence.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to shocks, eye injuries and potential electrocution. Employers with multiple locations who correct hazards at one location should take effective steps to ensure that similar hazards do not occur at other workplace," Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's Albany area director, said of the repeated violations in a statement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 mandates that employers bear responsibility for creating and maintaining a safe work environment. Companies that wish to avoid regulatory punishment and potential litigation should consider investing in up-to-date protective clothing, like head protection and safety glasses. Obtaining safety posters for machinery like circuit breakers will help keep employees informed about potential dangers.
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