OSHA Proposes $96,000 in Fines for Workplace Safety and Health Violations at 3 area Lowe's stores.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lowe's stores in Carlisle, Hanover and Palmyra for a total of 11 safety and health violations, 10 of those repeat, including exposing workers to chemical and electrical hazards. The inspections were conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $96,030.

"Lowe's stores continue to put employees at risk by not addressing previously cited safety and health violations," said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office, which conducted the inspections. "This employer is well aware of OSHA requirements but continues to disregard federal law, which will not be tolerated."

The Carlisle store was cited for five repeat violations with $61,820 in penalties for permitting employees to use hazardous liquid chemicals without the use of personal protective equipment, improperly modifying powered industrial trucks, using flexible cords and cables as a substitute for fixed wiring, and failing to properly label hazardous chemical containers.

The Hanover store was cited for three repeat violations with $990 in penalties involving several electrical hazards, including failing to properly use listed or labeled electrical equipment, using a flexible cord as a substitute for fixed wiring and running a flexible cord through a hole in the wall. The store also was cited for one other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty for having an obstructed fire alarm pull station, which previously was cited at other stores.

The Palmyra store was cited for two repeat violations with $33,220 in penalties for failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees exposed to hazardous liquid chemicals.

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. 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.

Lowe's Companies Inc. is a national chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores. The Carlisle, Hanover and Palmyra stores employ 161, 191 and 140 workers, respectively. The company has 15 business days from receipt of all OSHA citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902.

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.