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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-341-CHI
March 23, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, for allegedly failing to protect workers from hazards encountered in confined spaces and other unsafe conditions at the company's coal- fired electric generation plant.
"To ensure that injury and illness rates continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $274,050 in this case demonstrates this Administration's commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."
The fine and OSHA citations follow an inspection initiated in September 2003 after an employee was buried and trapped in coal up to his neck while shoveling in the Goodyear Powerhouse coal bunker. The worker was one of six who had entered the bunker area for cleaning. When a coal pipe valve was opened, the employee was sucked down with the coal and was trapped for four hours before rescue workers dug him out.
OSHA issued six serious and four willful citations involving worker entry into confined spaces, lack of personal protective and rescue equipment, lack of a lockout/tagout device to prevent activation of the coal bunker transfer valve and training issues. Goodyear Tire and Rubber has been inspected 17 times at various Ohio locations during the past ten years.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In fiscal year 2003, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2000 inspections over 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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