The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Division levied fines against furniture-maker Swedwood in Danville, VA, for numerous unsafe conditions and for improper record keeping.
Confirming an IAM report released in July, Virginia OSHA found that at least eight additional workers were injured during the first half of 2010, which was double the accident incidence rate originally reported. From the time OSHA drafted its report and the report was finalized, at least two other workers were seriously injured.
“Instead of working with us to solve these problems, Swedwood hired an expensive anti-union law firm and is spending substantial amounts of money to maintain an unsafe workplace,” said IAM Woodworkers Department Director William Street. “Everyone knows that productivity goes up and costs go down in a safe workplace. Additionally, Swedwood continues to deny us access to educate the Swedwood workers as to their rights to form and join a union.”
“Machine operators at Swedwood are still not properly trained on safe machine operation protocols,” said Street. “The IAM anticipates that until these issues are addressed, additional accidents can be expected at Swedwood.”