US Labor Department's OSHA cites Lowe's Home Centers Inc. in
Killeen, Texas, for exposing workers to electrical, other safety hazards
KILLEEN, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lowe's Home Centers Inc. with three serious and two repeat safety violations for exposing workers to electrical and other safety hazards following an inspection at the Killeen retail store. OSHA began its inspection of the South W.S. Young Drive store in September as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces where high injury and illness rates occur. Proposed penalties total $55,000.
The serious violations were cited for failing to illuminate exit signs, protect exposed lamps from possible breakage or contact and guard electrical receptacles with exposed current-carrying parts. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violations were for failing to mount fire extinguishers and guard or cover exposed live parts on fluorescent lamp holders. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2009 at the Holmdel, N.J., retail store.
"OSHA will not tolerate a company's repeated negligence in failing to keep workers safe from possible injuries," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "Exposure to electrical hazards puts workers at risk of electric shock or possibly electrocution."
More information on OSHA's SST program can be found at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-11-03.pdf.*
Lowe's Home Centers, based in Mooresville, N.C., employs approximately 234,000 workers companywide, of which about 182 are employed in Killeen. The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Austin Area Office or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321- OSHA (6742) or the agency's Austin office at 512-374-0271.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.