How Do Electrical Hazards Endanger Workers?
According to a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 5,348 workers died from contact with electrical energy in a twelve-year period, averaging more than 400 deaths per year. At that time, electrocutions were the fifth leading cause of death in the workplace, accounting for 7 percent of all workplace fatalities.
Workers exposed to electrical hazards face a substantial risk of burns, harmful shocks and death by electrocution. Electrical exposure can come from a variety of sources: exposed wiring, faulty electrical boxes, frayed or poorly maintained cords, even workplace machinery.
Popular home improvement store Lowe’s recently received several safety violations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after an investigation found electrical hazards at its Zanesville location. Proposed penalties totaled $53,240 for six total violations.
OSHA initiated the inspection in March 2014 after the store reported a higher than average injury rate.
Lowe’s exposed workers to electrical hazards by using cords instead of fixed wiring and failing to guard live parts of electrical equipment against accidental contact.The facility also failed to close unused openings in electrical panels.
Several of the citations were repeat violations, because Lowe’s was cited for similar violations at home improvement stores in New York, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana and Florida between 2009 and 2014. When a business has multiple facilities, OSHA expects any identified hazards to be addressed and corrected at all locations.
Despite multiple warnings, Lowe’s failed to make sure that all facilities were compliant with OSHA regulations. The offenses may seem small, but the company’s negligence could have led to a worker’s death or serious injury.
I Was Injured on the Job! What Are My Legal Options?
Larrimer & Larrimer has been practicing Ohio workers’ comp law for more than 80 years. Our goal is to defend the working man against negligent employers who would rather save money than protect the health and wellbeing of their workers.
If you are working in a hazardous environment, your rights are being violated. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your workers’ comp claim with one of our licensed attorneys.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys