Being injured on-the-job can cause a number of problems for a worker. In addition to the physical implications, there are financial considerations as well. When a work accident occurs, an injured worker can seek workers’ compensation benefits.

Recently several Lowe’s stores were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA likely received reports that the safety violations were occurring and investigated. The three stores that were putting employees at risk were all located in Pennsylvania.

Following the investigation, OSHA cited the company 11 times for causing employees to be exposed to unsafe and unhealthy work environments. The company may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines for violating federal safety regulations.

One of the stores, where 140 individuals are employed, was cited twice for repeat violations. Supervisors at the branch allowed employees to handle hazardous liquid chemicals without providing personal protective equipment for their safety.

Another Pennsylvania store with more than 160 workers was cited multiple times for repeat violations. In addition to allowing employees to handle hazardous chemicals without personal protective equipment, the store was cited for not properly labeling dangerous chemicals. Workers at the third store were also in danger of electrocution; the store was cited for electrical hazards.

Injuries to workers can be caused by unsafe wiring, exposure to toxic chemicals and even a fall from a ladder. Whatever the workplace environment, all employers are required to adhere to the federal safety standards. Failure to do so not only leads to citations but can cause serious injury or even death to workers.

Source: OSHA Press Release: “US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $96,000 in fines for continued workplace safety and health violations at 3 Lowe’s stores in Pennsylvania,” Oct. 10, 2011