Accidents at work can happen anywhere. Ashley Furniture, the nation's largest furniture manufacturer, recently settled claims of safety violations brought by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for $1.75 million. OSHA found numerous safety violations in the company's manufacturing plants which it alleged caused over 1,000 worker injuries, including amputations. OSHA reported that some machines did not have easily-accessible emergency stop buttons; this was a problem when some machines started up unexpectedly while workers were changing blades. OSHA also alleged that workers were not properly trained in safety procedures.
As part of the legal settlement, over the next two years, Ashley Furniture will submit status reports to OSHA, reduce machine hazards, and implement safety programs with employee input. They are also hiring a new management member to be in charge of safety issues. This settlement came after OSHA found separate violations in 2015 which also caused worker injuries and amputations of an employee's fingers.
While actions brought by OSHA are necessary and helpful to get companies to change their practices, OSHA does not obtain individual relief for workers who may have been seriously hurt. Injured workers in New Jersey should make individual clams under their employer's Worker's Compensation. Workers' Compensation is a "no fault" insurance program that provides benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. To obtain Worker's Compensation in New Jersey, employees do not have to prove that their employer was negligent, but rather must show that their injury or illness that is directly related to their job.
The Ashley Furniture settlement also serves as a reminder that work environments may not always be as safe as they first appear. Even seemingly-safe retail or office work environments can have hidden dangers such as faulty chairs, filing cabinets, stocking shelves, tripping hazards, or other problematic equipment.
Navigating a Worker's Compensation claim and knowing which benefits are right for you requires someone who knows the law. Our Vineland Worker's Compensation lawyers know the process for obtaining benefits via Worker's Compensation in New Jersey and will fight to ensure you receive the maximum benefit.
Vineland Workers' Compensation Lawyers at Rone & Kowalski Fight for Injured Workers in South Jersey
If you have suffered an injury at work or an illness related to work conditions, contact our Vineland Worker's Compensation lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC to discuss your options. Contact us online or call us at 609-476-4044 x203 today. Our offices are located in Milmay, New Jersey allowing us to serve residents throughout South Jersey including the towns of Vineland, Bridgeton, Millville, Buena Vista, Maurice River Township, Upper Deerfield Township, Greenwich Township, Stow Creek Township, and Cumberland County.