Walmart must face U.S. Labor Dept. claims over warehouse worker injury
- Related documents
- Rule on goods 'stored in tiers' applies to metal racks -court
- Walmart worker injured by boxes that fell 40 feet
- Review board had nixed £11,000 fine
(Reuters) - Walmart Inc may have violated a federal workplace safety rule by failing to prevent heavy boxes from falling 40 feet and seriously injuring a New York warehouse worker, a U.S. appeals court said on Tuesday.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring merchandise "stored in tiers" to be secured can apply whenever goods are kept on tall metal racks.
OSHA, a part of the U.S.
Department of Labor, and Arkansas-based Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegister
OSHA in 2020 had fined Walmart about £11,000 after cases of crescent rolls fell off a pallet at a warehouse near Albany, New York, injuring a worker.
A federal review board threw out the fine, saying the rule cited by OSHA did not apply because Walmart had stored pallets of boxes individually instead of stacking them.
But the 2nd Circuit said metal storage racks found in most warehouses are themselves tiered, so the OSHA rule applies to the case.
The rule says goods "stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse."
The 2nd Circuit sent the case back to the review board to apply the rule and determine whether Walmart violated it.
The panel included Circuit Judges Rosemary Pooler, Raymond Lohier and William Nardini.
The case is Walsh v. Walmart Inc, 2nd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, No.
For DOL: Juan Lopez
For Walmart: Ronald Taylor of Venable
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegister Daniel Wiessner
Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making.
He can be reached at [email protected]