Home Depot Hit With $150,000 In Fines For Ohio Store

A Home Depot (NYSE:HD) store in Ohio faces more than $150,000 in fines for safety violations cited by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported on Monday (Aug. 26).

The citation was for seven alleged repeat violations that included conditions that exposed employees to live electrical wires—specifically, failing to install covering plates on electrical receptacles, failing to effectively close unused openings in electrical cabinets, using extension cords with damaged insulation and missing ground pins, and use extension cords in place of required fixed wiring. The store, in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, was also cited for blocking exit routes and failing to meet record-keeping requirements.

The same violations were cited at various Home Depot stores nationwide from 2010 through 2012, the newspaper reported.

The $150,700 fine is for a single store, and could just reflect store management lapses there. But it may be just the tip of the iceberg for Home Depot. OSHA does its inspections on an area-by-area basis, and this inspection was done by the Columbus Area office, which is less than 20 miles from the Reynoldsburg store. If OSHA directors in other parts of the U.S. get the idea of following up on their previous inspections and the chain really hasn't tightened up on electrical safety, this could eventually get expensive.

The irony, of course, is that Home Depot stores are probably better equipped than any other employer for avoiding problems with worn extension cords and missing cover plates on electrical boxes. Even if the chain has a policy against employees doing it themselves, it certainly knows where it can acquire the parts.

For more:

- See this Atlanta Business Chronicle story

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