Ashley Furniture, like many companies over the years, has been cited for injuries caused to workers due to safety hazards. Each year, many companies partake in dangerous activities or turn the eye at safety hazards that could injure many workers on the job and cause issues from a health and economical standpoint. Ashley Furniture, which is based in Wisconsin, agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle safety violations at four of its plants, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It is alleged that the company caused more than 1,000 workers injuries in recent years, some of the most serious being amputations.
What is Being Done?
Far too often, we hear about these big name companies in the news and realize that, yes, a settlement can help out many workers but the accidents should never happen in the first place. The company, after the settlement, has agreed that they will be taking necessary precautions to make sure that workers are protected from machine hazards. The first step that they have implemented toward progress includes inciting a Vice President for Safety, who will be responsible for managing a corporate wide program that identifies and evaluates prevention and control of machine hazards. After the settlement, Ashley Furniture realized that a lot of employees were at risk and believes that it is in their best interest to take important steps to change the overall culture of the business and work with OSHA to make the necessary and significant changes that mean the most.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has noted about the agreement, “We look forward to working with Ashley Furniture to ensure that it fulfills its commitment and focuses on reducing injuries on the job. This settlement is an important reminder that every worker has the right to a safe workplace, and we will continue to use all available tools to protect that right.” However, many people are still unsure of what an agreement entails and how OSHA will be able to keep track of progress. In this case, it is actually very simple. Ashley is working on implementing many safety measures that will protect employees and, to keep OSHA updated, will submit status reports annually during a two-year term of agreement. This way, it can become evident that progress is being made. Machine hazards will be identified and effectiveness of the program will be reviewed.
The best part? Workers will now have the right to speak up about how they believe the workplace can be improved. Not only will the working men and women receive the fair treatment they had hoped for, but they will also know that they are safe and that the injured workers will receive fair payment for the injuries they have received. Many other companies go through the same process every year when unsafe working conditions are found. To put things into perspective, Ashley Furniture is listed as Forbes as the 105th largest private company in America. Many more companies will ignore safety violations and workers will become injured, only for more settlements and permanent disabilities.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident and need legal representation, we are on your side. Call us today for more information on your case. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi we have received settlements for many workers injured on the job and have experience fighting for your rights and compensation.