Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Ashley Furniture hit with $431,000 by federal safety agency

Ashley Furniture's Pennsylvania facilities will undergo inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the federal safety agency levied proposed fines of $431,000 against the furniture manufacturer. The fines were due to safety violations that occurred in Wisconsin at one of the company's factories.

According to OSHA, the company didn't keep workers safe inside one of its upholstery plants. The agency alleges that the workers were not protected from equipment starting up when workers were cleaning them, clearing jams or changing blades.

This isn't the first time Ashley Furniture has been cited and fined by OSHA. The company is contesting $1.8 million in fines from other inspections. Another $83,200 in fines is sought by OSHA for the company failing to report a worker's accident. That worker reportedly lost a finger.

The legal counsel for Ashley Furniture said that the company has implemented special procedures and extra guards to protect its employees. Ashley has denied the latest accusation from OSHA and said that it will "vigorously challenge" OSHA's citations.

Employers who do not implement the proper safety precautions or require their employees to follow those protocols risk workplace accidents. When a worker is injured on the job, he or she has a right to seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. If a third-party, such as an equipment manufacturer is responsible for the accident, then a civil lawsuit seeking compensation may be possible.

An attorney experienced in workplace injuries can be very helpful in helping you determine your legal options. Workers have rights and he or she can help protect those rights.

Source: Leader-Telegram, "OSHA imposes $431,000 in fines against Ashley Furniture," Oct. 20, 2015

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