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Lowe's may need improving after OSHA reviews accident report

The ubiquitous slogan of "Never Stop Improving" is the tag on most of one popular home improvement company's commercials. However, after an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the company was given just over two weeks to make its own improvements -- in safety -- after the inspector noted the high numbers of injured employees and the required accident report for each. The company, which is based in North Carolina, also had several repeat violations.

The inspection conducted by OSHA officials revealed a higher than expected number of injured employee incidents. The store had been cited in the past regarding the lack of proper safety protocols regarding electrical supply and components. The violations that were listed included the use of electrical cords in place of necessary repairs to existing wiring. Additionally, there was a lack of safety protections to prevent exposure to live electrical components.

Along with the violations concerning improper practices with electricity, the store was cited for issues relating to safeguarding respiratory health. An official with the agency remarked that these particular types of violations are common within the agency's inspections. The majority of the five violations were not considered serious; however, the one that was regarded improper installation and use of electric-powered equipment.

It is not known if the elevation in the accident report and injury numbers were related to the violations noted by OSHA. The company was fined in excess of $54,000; however, Lowe's is entitled to dispute the findings. Workers who have suffered injury as a result of this store's improper procedures most likely qualified for workers' compensation. North Carolina also has the benefit program that aids those who have suffered a work-related accident or illness. There are resources that can provide assistance in filing such a claim in a timely manner.

Source: whiznews.com, "Home Improvement Store Cited for Safety Violations", Nichole Hannahs, July 23, 2014

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