Aug 27, 2013
The Home Depot store in Reynoldsburg has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for eight safety violations — including seven repeat violations — for a total of $150,700 in possible fines.
The most serious violation was for failing to properly handle flammable-liquid storage containers to prevent accidental electrical discharge, OSHA said. The federal inspectors consider such a problem a serious issue because death or serious physical harm could result from such a violation.
Home Depot may ultimately pay far less in fines if the company works with OSHA to remedy the issues.
“If they have abated some of the problems quickly, the penalties could be reduced,” said OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke.
The Reynoldsburg location is far from the only Home Depot store that has been cited for the violations. Various Home Depot stores across the nation have been cited from 2010 through 2012 for the same seven violations, according to OSHA.
“By failing to correct previously cited deficiencies, Home Depot continues to dismiss a culture of safety as a priority,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to worker safety and health.”
Home Depot takes the “safety of our stores and that of our associates and customers extremely seriously,” spokesman Stephen Holmes said. “Our safety team jumps all over problems if they see them, and that’s what they’ve done in this case.”
The other violations include: failure to keep exits unobstructed; failure to inspect flexible electrical cords and instead using cords with damaged insulation; failure to effectively close unused openings in electrical cabinets; failure to use fixed wiring and instead using flexible wiring; and failure to install plates on receptacles, “thus exposing workers to 120 volts of live electricity,” OSHA said.
A final violation was procedural: A failure to review, sign and provide record-keeping documents within four hours, as requested by OSHA inspectors.
All but two of the safety concerns at the Reynoldsburg store were resolved during OSHA’s inspection, Holmes said.