As you know if you work in the industry, OSHA takes occupational safety very seriously. They have been working already in 2015 to maintain safety standards in the work place and some businesses have seen fines and penalties as a result.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, routinely conducts inspections of different industries and businesses to ensure they are up to federal safety standards and guidelines. If not, the businesses could be fined or in extreme cases, even forced to close until they bring things back up to standard.
One example that happened in February of 2015 is with Ashley Furniture, one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers. Ashley Furniture will face more than $1.7 million in fines for dozens of safety violations centered around its manufacturing plant in Arcadia, Wisconsin. These safety violations were tied to more than 1,000 injuries of employees at the plant.
“Regrettably, Ashley Furniture has become a frequent flier for OSHA,” Thomas E. Perez, the labor secretary, said in an interview. “We have been inspecting this plant a number of times. We have found violations previously. They have been fined; we have come back. The fundamental challenge is they need to build a better culture of safety, and that hasn’t happened.”
OSHA claims that Ashley encouraged workers to work quickly, creating dangerous factory conditions. Ashley Furniture representatives deny the allegations made by OSHA, calling them overzealous. It is one of the highest penalties set forth by OSHA.
They charged Mercury Products Corp. $86K for workplace safety issues including not properly training workers operating mechanical presses. Other violations include not protecting workers from moving machinery parts, issues with employees’ personal protective equipment and exposing workers to electrical hazards, OSHA claims. The complaints also say the company failed to provide hearing protection or train the workers on hazardous materials.
OSHA seems to be planning ahead for 2016 and has asked for a federal budget increase to $592.1 million to assist them in federal and state enforcement, add extra staff to fill 90 new positions and more.