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Region 5 News Release: 10-1495-CHI
Oct. 27, 2010
Contact: Rhonda Burke       Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976       312-353-6976
Email: burke.rhonda@dol.gov       allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines Lowe's Rockford Distribution Center
$182,000 for willful and repeat recordkeeping violations

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the Lowe's Home Centers Inc. regional distribution center in Rockford with $182,000 in proposed penalties for failure to document and report employee injuries and illnesses, as required by OSHA safety and health regulations.

As the result of a May inspection, OSHA issued Lowe's Home Centers Inc. four willful citations with a proposed penalty of $160,000 for alleged continuous failure to correctly classify injuries or illnesses and not correctly recording the number of days a worker was away from work due to injury or illness in the OSHA 300 log. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The distribution center also received two repeat violations with proposed penalties of $20,000 and two other-than-serious violations with proposed penalties of $2,000 for other recordkeeping violations. OSHA requires employers to record and maintain occupational injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log. A repeat violation is issued 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. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"Accurate injury and illness records are vital to protecting workers' health and safety," said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb in North Aurora, Ill. "Accurate records are an important tool that employers and workers can use to identify hazards in the workplace, and they also enable OSHA to better target its resources."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's North Aurora Area Office at 630-896-8700. To report workplace injuries, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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 assure 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.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


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