Workers’ Compensation for Factory Workers in the Furniture Industry

April 28, 2016

Like food and clothing, furniture is a necessity. We spend billions of dollars each year in search of the perfect tables and chairs, the most comfortable couches and the best beds to a good night’s sleep. Someone has to make all of that furniture, however, and unless you’re purchasing hand-made pieces, the chances are good that your bedroom set was built in a factory.

Furniture factory workers face some very hazardous conditions – Ashley’s Furniture is facing more than $430,000 in fines because of their poor safety practices – and may suffer serious accidents, illnesses or injuries as a result. If you are an employee at a furniture factory in or around Philadelphia, you can make a claim for workers’ compensation if you suffer an injury at work.

Injuries sustained by furniture factory workers

When you make a claim for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, you must be able to prove that the injury or illness you sustained was the result of work you did in the course of your duties. That could mean work you did on your actual jobsite, or a mandatory event you attended outside of your jobsite. For furniture makers, those types of injuries might include:

  • Slips, trips and falls. If your worksite has large objects in the pathways, uneven floors or leaking ceilings (leading to wet sots on the ground), you may slip and fall at work. A fall (one of the leading causes of fatal injuries) can cause you to break a bone, sprain or strain your muscles, joints or tendons, or hit your head, leading to a traumatic brain injury.
  • Loss of limb. When you work with heavy-duty power tools or assembly line machinery, you must be given the right kind of safety equipment (gloves, protective goggles, etc.) and the right kind of training. Companies that incentivize you to work faster than is safe, or mandate that you reach a certain, rather unobtainable quota, are sacrificing your safety for better profits. Moving too fast can cause you to have your fingers, hands, arms, feet or legs chopped off or crushed.
  • Crushing injuries. If you work with or near forklifts, or with pressing machines, you risk having a body part crushed. Crushing injuries sometimes lead to amputations, but when they don’t, you could suffer permanent disfigurement or paralysis.
  • Toxic inhalation. Furniture fabric can release toxic fumes during the dying stage or when it is applied to a frame. If you work with furniture fabric and have not been given a mask, gloves or goggles, you may develop an illness related to the toxic fumes you have inhaled.
  • Repetitive stress injuries. Performing the same work over and over again can put undue pressure on your joints and tendons. Repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel, can make it almost impossible to work, and can have life-long repercussions if not treated immediately.

Factory workers face a number of dangers when they work. People in the furniture industry face even more challenges. If you are hurt while working in a furniture factory, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Larry Pitt & Associates can help. We hope you’ll contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney about your case. We proudly serve clients in We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.