OSHA has fined Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. approximately $1.76M after finding that the company has had upwards of 1,000 worker injuries in past three years, including more than 100 amputations (PDF*) from woodworking machinery.
One worker's loss of three fingers in July 2014 led to an OSHA inspection of the Arcadia, Wis.-based furniture manufacturer, which in turn led to the company being cited for 12 willful, 12 repeated and 14 serious safety violations and placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program for its failure to address these hazards. Proposed penalties total $1,766,000.
"Ashley Furniture has created a culture that values production and profit over worker safety, and employees are paying the price," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Safety and profits are not an ‘either, or’ proposition. Successful companies across this nation have both"
The 12 willful and 12 repeated violations were cited after OSHA found that the company did not take the necessary steps to protect its workers from being injured by moving machine parts. It did not prevent machines from unintentionally starting when workers were performing tooling and blade changes on woodworking machinery, and also failed to provide adequate safety mechanisms to prevent contact with those moving parts. OSHA also cited Ashley Furniture Industries for 14 serious violations, including not training workers on safety procedures and hazards present when servicing machinery.