Environmental, Health and Safety Services

OSHA proposes $233,500 in fines against Home Goods for exit hazards

Posted by | posted: Feb 2nd, 2010

OSHA proposed $233,500 in fines against Home Goods for exit access, fire and crushing hazards at its Commack, N.Y., store. Responding to an employee complaint, OSHA found exit routes that were too narrow for passage, blocked by stock and equipment, or hidden by stacks of material. Other hazards included blocked access to fire extinguishers, workers not trained in fire extinguisher use, and boxes stored in unstable 8-foot high tiers. OSHA had cited Home Goods in 2006 and 2007 for similar conditions at the company's Mount Olive, N.J., and Somers, N.Y., locations. "It's been 99 years since the fire at The Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York City took the lives of nearly 150 workers and almost 19 years since two workers were killed when they were unable to exit the McCrory's store in Huntington Station, N.Y., during a fire," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "Blocked fire exits can be deadly. It is that simple." For more information, read the news release.

Are these issues a serious concern on campus? The answer is most definitely yes! Storage of equipment or materials in hallways, even on a temporary basis, can seriously impact the safety of building occupants and first responders. Consider, for example, that if a fire occurs, visibility will be greatly reduced. If you are trying to exit the building--perhaps by crawling on the floor to minimize your exposure to smoke--those items in the hallway could impede your ability to get out quickly. Or, if they're easily movable and you bump into them, they could actually obstruct your exit access.

Also, during a fire the first responders may be dragging fire hose down the corridor. If there is storage or easily moved equipment located in the hallway, the hose could catch on these stored items and either obstruct the hall or impede the response efforts.

If you are planning to place equipment or furniture in hallways or lobbies, please contact EHSS first to make sure your plan is appropriate and safe. And, never store anything in stairwells!

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Clen (2013-01-12 04:42:01)

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Aswani (2013-01-04 07:01:24)

It's a myth that OSHA protects the saftey of the worker. OSHA's mandate is simply to make the job safer than it would be without OSHA. Cost/benefit analyses are performed on new proposed saftey regulations, and if the cost is determined to exceed the benefit, the proposed safeguards are not put into place. Additionally, when any new regulation is proposed, public comments are legally solicited and published in the Federal Register. These comments ultimately determine if the regulation is promulgated.It is really a double-edged sword. We can make the jobs safer by spending more money, but we have to pass the cost along to the customer or lower the profits of the business. Yes, that could cause businesses that comply to go bankrupt while those who ignore the regulations thrive. If you don’t believe that, look up coal mining saftey records and profits.Is the cost worth it? I guess it depends on if the life or limb that is missing because the saftey costs were too high belong to friend or foe. How much money would you spend to save your son's or daughter's eyes, arms, legs, or life? I am happy to see that technology is solving some of the worker saftey problems!

www.ehss.vt.edu (2011-06-02 11:08:48)

Show.. Very nice :)

heimarbeit angebote (2010-09-28 06:58:38)

Exit hazards are indeed needed to be implemented to any type of establishment, whether it is a high or medium rise building.

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sarahbelll (2010-03-29 09:55:26)

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