The Denver Home Depot store at 500 S. Santa Fe Drive was the company’s second-worst offender of federal employee safety and health regulations last year based on the amount the company was fined, according to OSHA records.
Inspectors with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration singled out Home Depot’s trademark orange aprons that employees are required to wear as a safety hazard in the Denver store last summer.
The store was cited for four violations and fined a total of $10,000. The Home Depot store in Southington, Conn., had the most violations, 12, and was fined the most, $13,893, of all the company’s stores last year. OSHA attributed at least two employee injuries to the aprons and fined the company $5,000 for the hazard.
The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) of Atlanta responded by requiring employees in the store to remove the aprons when doing store maintenance or handling heavy equipment, according to OSHA records obtained by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The company issued a statement saying, in part, “Safety remains a top priority for our company. We have a dedicated group of safety professionals focused on safety in our stores, 118 of which earned the first-ever National Safety Council retail safety certificate this year. We are very proud of this achievement, and continue to focus daily on safety.”
OSHA records show that the same Home Depot store in Denver also was fined $5,000 for not installing a non-slip surface around a floor drain in the maintenance area of the store’s equipment rental department. An employee had slipped and broken his hip in the rental department 16 months earlier, but the company failed to correct the problem until after OSHA issued the citation, the records show.
The other two violations at the store, both involving keeping records about potential hazards in the store’s rental center, didn’t include fines.
OSHA inspected the Denver store last June after receiving a complaint from an employee three months earlier about safety hazards there.