Chicago Home Depot Store Fined For Electrical Hazards

In our last post we discussed fines proposed by federal regulators against a suburban Chicago electronic recycling facility that exposed its workers to dangerous level of lead in their workplace. Carol Stream’s COM2 Computers and Technologies LLC was not the only Chicago-area employer to fail a federal workplace safety inspection recently. Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration also found serious safety violations at a Chicago Home Depot store.

Federal inspectors say that they found electrical hazards at the store including materials improperly stored near electrical equipment and unlabeled branch circuits and overcurrent devices. Improperly labeled electrical devices are one of the main reasons why Chicago-area workers suffer electrocution in the workplace.

“The Home Depot has a responsibility to protect the safety of its employees by minimizing exposure to hazards, such as by clearly marking electrical boxes,” said Diane Turek, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office.

The inspection of the store was initiated after a complaint was filed with OSHA regarding a blocked electrical panel at the store. The proposed fines against the company total $69,300. These were repeat violations as multiple Home Depot were fined for electrical hazards by OSHA inspectors in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

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Source: OSHA, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites The Home Depot for exposing workers to electrical hazards at Chicago store; more than $69,000 proposed in penalties,” Region 5 News Release: 12-1929-CHI, Sept. 27, 2012