• December 20, 2014

OSHA cites Lowe’s for safety violations

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:30 am

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. with several safety violations at its Killeen store in September, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report listed “three serious and two repeat safety violations for exposing its workers to electrical and other safety hazards,” following an inspection at the store on Lowe’s Boulevard in Killeen.

Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. responded by saying it takes the violations seriously and has responded to OSHA’s citations to become compliant.

“The safety and well-being of employees and customers is a Lowe’s core value and we dedicate substantial resources to our safety programs,” said Karen Cobb, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s. “The inspection occurred in September and, after the inspection, we reviewed and addressed any issues. We intend to follow the process for responding to OSHA citations.”

According to the report, OSHA began its inspection of the Killeen store in September as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces.

The Killeen Lowe’s was cited for failing to illuminate exit signs, protect exposed lamps from possible breakage or contact and guard electrical receptacles with exposed current-carrying parts. The store also was cited for the repeat violations of failing to mount fire extinguishers and properly protect exposed live parts on fluorescent lamp holders.

“OSHA will not tolerate a company’s repeated negligence in failing to keep workers safe from possible injuries,” said Casey Perkins, OSHA’s area director in Austin.

According to Lowe’s website, the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Richard Kitterman, regional director for the BBB, said the organization keeps an eye on situations like this concerning its members. Failure to comply with OSHA could potentially lead to a downgrading of a business’ BBB status.

“I am not going to comment on this particular situation because I don’t have all the facts,” Kitterman said. “But these citations would fall under the heading of ‘government action,’ which is one of the standards we measure a company by. We take everything on a case-by-case basis, but we are certainly interested in it.”

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