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Region 4 News Release: 11-589-ATL (215)
May 10, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov      wald.michael@dol.gov

Minnesota-based Best Buy cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for safety violations following worker injury at store in Duluth, Ga.

DULUTH, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the Best Buy Co. Inc. store on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth with five safety violations after a worker suffered severe head injuries from a fall in January.

The employee was stacking televisions on a storage rack while standing on an elevated powered industrial truck's platform when it suddenly tilted and caused the employee to fall approximately 12 feet.

Two repeat violations include failing to provide personal protective equipment that fit the employee and guardrails for a 12-foot fall hazard. 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. The company was cited in 2008 at an Illinois location involving similar equipment.

One serious violation involves allowing modifications to a powered industrial truck without manufacturer approval by taping shut the drive limit switch. 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.

Two other-than-serious violations include failing to properly fill out the OSHA 300 log of workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2008, and failing to certify the log in 2008 and 2009. 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.

"This injury resulted from managers' complacency, as they failed to oversee powered industrial truck operators to make sure that fall protection was being used," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "The fact that the body belt was too big for the operator shows a lack of concern and a desire to get the job done regardless of danger to the worker."

Penalties total $76,000. The company, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-East office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084; telephone 770-493-6644. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency'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 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.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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