Ashley Furniture Industries is once more facing a hefty fine after failing to report a workplace injury. Reportedly, a worker lost his finger this past March while working but the furniture company did not report the incident. Already the target of multiple complaints according to the news report, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) proposed a fine of $83,200 this week. This new fine comes on top of an already huge $1.77 million fine levied in January for alleged willful and repeated worker safety violations.
While Ashley Furniture continues to dispute the allegations, OSHA claims the company’s factories caused 1,000 worker injuries over a 36-month time period. Further, OSHA alleges that Ashley repeatedly failed to “properly guard machines” and added that the company blamed at least a portion of the accidents on the workers.
This newest accident that cost the 56-year-old employee a finger from his right hand resulted in a fresh complaint alleging two “willful violations” and “two safety violations.” OSHA says a recent inspection of the factory where the accident occurred helped to determine the details of the man’s injury. Reportedly, Ashley Furniture Industries has 15 days in which to respond to the new allegations.
As one of the nation’s largest furniture manufacturers, Ashley has factories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, North Carolina and California. This latest violation occurred at the company’s Arcadia, Wisconsin, factory.
Employers and business owners have a duty to keep their staff members as safe as possible while working. When this system fails, accident victims have many legal rights and options through which to seek recompense. If you have questions about the safety of your Pennsylvania workplace or if you have already been injured, it is a great idea to speak with an attorney and explore your options.
Source: Star Tribune, “OSHA fines Ashley Furniture an additional $83,200,” Dee DePass, July 21, 2015