Ashley Furniture, the nation's largest retailer of home furnishings, has entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with OSHA designed to protect workers from machine hazards.

Under the settlement, Ashley will implement a number of safety measures to protect its employees and will submit status reports to OSHA annually during the two-year term of the agreement. The company will conduct periodic audits of facilities to identify machine hazards, as well as an annual review of the effectiveness of the program; develop internal corporate monitoring provisions; and identify a corporate officer or senior managers who will act as a designated official responsible for implementation and oversight of the agreement.

"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," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "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."

The agreement also resolves numerous violations that OSHA issued after inspecting several Ashley workplaces in Wisconsin and Mississippi. The company has agreed to correct all cited violations and will pay penalties of $1.75 million.