Electrical Hazards Cited by OSHA in Home Depot Penalties

Electrical Hazards at a Chicago Home Depot Location resulted in over $69,000 in fines.Exposing workers to electrical hazards was OSHA’s conclusion in their citing Home Depot with over $69,000 in fines and penalties.  It happened at their North Avenue Chicago store. The investigation was started following reports of blocked electrical panels at that location. Home Depot was cited in 2009, 2010, and 2012 for similar matters and as a result OSHA fined the chain severely.

OSHA is taking aggressive actions to address the electrical hazards as serious repercussions such as exposure to shocks, eye injuries or electrocution could occur if these issues are ignored. OSHA officials in Chicago granted Home Depot fifteen days to comply with OSHA regulations or request a hearing on the complaint. Home Depot stores in Keene, New Hampshire, Vineland, New Jersey, and Saratoga Springs, New York have also been cited for similar electrical hazards violations within the last several years.

Repeat Electrical Hazards Violations Spell Higher Fines

The North Avenue Chicago Home Depot store was cited for two repeat violations and one serious safety violation. The serious violation was issued for failing to ensure all electrical equipment was marked with the appropriate voltage level. Serious violations occur when there is a risk of death or serious physical harm. OSHA standards require companies to identify electrical equipment, specify usage intent, and voltage levels.

The repeat electrical hazard violations involved materials not being stored in space around the electrical equipment. Also, electrical circuits were not properly identified. Employers receive repeat violations when they have been cited for the same violation of a standard or regulation at another facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Home Depot has been cited in multiple states within the last three years.

Diane Turek, Director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines explained Home Depot has a responsibility to safeguard employees by eliminating safety concerns. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy work places for their employees. OSHA ensures these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing appropriate standards. In addition, OSHA mandates companies provide applicable training, education, and assistance to employees.