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Warning issued for log splitters

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Lowe’s and its import division, LG Sourcing, has issued a recall notice for approximately 20,000 electric log splitters sold nationwide from January 2008 through March 2011.

The product, which sold for about $300 under the brand name Task Force 5-ton electric log splitter, poses a danger to consumers because its hydraulic arm can slide under the handle used to move the machine. The moving hydraulic arm poses a laceration or amputation injury hazard to individuals who place their hands on that handle while the splitter is in operation. There have been two reports of injuries so far. 

The product was manufactured by Changzhou Globe Tool Group.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled log splitters and contact Changzhou Globe Tool Group to receive a free set of warning labels, including placement instructions. 

“The issue was with the warning labels,” a CPSC spokesperson explained to HCN. “Consumers should stop using it, get the new warning labels, read them and put them in place [on the log splitter].” 

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Home Depot faces OSHA fines

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Home Depot store in Chicago for two repeat and one serious alleged safety violations, including failing to remove damaged equipment from service and train employees on safety procedures. The company faces proposed penalties of $55,000.

The two repeat citations, with proposed penalties of $50,000, include failing to ensure that damaged and defective fall protection equipment was removed from service, and failing to remove powered industrial vehicles from service when defects were found. The Home Depot was cited for the same violations in 2007 and 2008 in Rochester, N.Y., and Chicago, respectively, according to OSHA.

The serious violation, which carries a $5,000 penalty, was issued for failing to maintain capacity plates on powered industrial vehicles. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The Home Depot has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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Unemployment rate slips to 9.2%

BY HBSDealer Staff

A disappointing report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning showed the nation’s unemployment rate slipped to 9.2% in June, up from 9.1% in May.

Only 18,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in June, according to the Employment Situation summary, released Friday morning.

Construction employment, which fell sharply during the 2007-to-2009 period, was "essentially unchanged" in June. It has shown little change since early 2010, the report said.

Since March, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 545,000, and the unemployment rate has risen by 0.4 percentage points.

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