OSHA Cites Ala. Tire Manufacturer for Hazards; Fines Over $91,000

October 6, 2005

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited BF Goodrich for safety and health hazards at its Tuscaloosa, Ala., tire manufacturing plant. The agency is proposing total penalties of $91,700, following an inspection conducted under OSHA’s “site specific targeting program.”

“Site specific targeting identifies industries with high injury and illness rates,” said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA’s Birmingham area director. “From that list, establishments are randomly selected for inspection. The goal of the program is to recognize and correct hazards that contribute to worker injuries, illnesses and deaths.”

OSHA issued 26 serious citations against the company with proposed penalties of $79,000. Cited safety hazards included: failing to protect workers from falls into pits through floor openings and from loading docks and stairways that lacked guardrails; exposing workers to “caught-by” injuries; and electrocutions from unguarded machinery parts and electrical equipment.

Citations for health hazards reportedly included failure to: provide employees with proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses and face shields; train employees and implement an emergency response plan and hazard communication program; provide electric grounding for containers of flammable material; and ensure proper drainage systems for storage tanks.

The company also received two repeat citations, with proposed penalties of $12,700, for failing to provide employees with fall protection while working on platforms and lack of a written hazard assessment program. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar conditions and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company has 15 days to contest the current citations and proposed penalties before the Review Commission.

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