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Region 5 News Release: 14-1271-CHI
July 21, 2014
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6876
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Ohio Lowe's for repeat electrical hazards

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Popular home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. Inc. has been cited for five repeat and one serious safety violation for exposing workers to electrical hazards and failing to provide information on respiratory protection to employees at its Zanesville store. OSHA initiated the inspection in March 2014 after the store reported a higher than average injury rate. Proposed penalties total $53,240.

"Lowe's has a responsibility to train its managers and workers nationwide to maintain safe working conditions. In this case, multiple stores across the country have been cited for similar hazards, but the chain has failed to address them at all locations and create a culture of safety for all workers," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Electrical safe work practices and respiratory protection are among the 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards."

The repeat electrical violations involve using cords in lieu of fixed wiring, failing to guard live parts of electrical equipment adequately against accidental contact and not closing unused openings in electrical panels. Repeat violations were cited for failing to provide workers with information on the voluntary use of respiratory protection and improperly handling flammable liquid storage containers.

OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any