Ashley Furniture has recently come to a settlement agreement with regulators at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), agreeing to pay a $1.75 million civil penalty in order to resolve more than 60 citations related to machine hazards – particularly those that lead to amputations.
The terms of this agreement will reportedly impact close to 22,000 Ashley workers at 30 facilities across the U.S.
A Closer Look at the Settlement
According to the announcement of this settlement, Ashley Furniture – in addition to paying the massive OSHA fine – has agreed to implement a company-wide safety program that will “demonstrate its corporate commitment to safety.”
As part of this program and per the terms of the OSHA settlement, Ashley Furniture has agreed to:
- Establish a Vice President for Safety, who will oversee the corporate safety program and spearhead the efforts to mitigate any machine hazards that may put Ashley’s employees at risk of accidents and injuries
- Appoint senior managers at specific facilities who will be responsible for the rollout of the new safety program, as well as ongoing compliance with it
- Roll out a program that is specifically geared towards machine safety
- Introduce a number of new safety measures to enhance workers’ protections
- Develop annual safety status reports and send them to OSHA
- Regularly audit Ashley’s warehouse facilities and manufacturing plants across the U.S. to monitor potential machine hazards and continually evaluate whether the safety program is effective.
Commenting on this OSHA action and settlement agreement with Ashley, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has stated:
With this settlement, Ashley Furniture is taking important steps to change its culture, invest in its employees and work with OSHA to make significant changes to protect the safety and health of workers… 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.
To view the complete text and terms of this settlement agreement, click here.
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