Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 99-166
Tuesday, September 21, 1999
Contact: Terry Bailey
PHONE: (205) 731-1534 x/159
UNIROYAL GOODRICH FINED $68,000 FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS
AT TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA, PLANT
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company and proposed fines totaling $68,000 for record keeping violations at the company's Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant.
According to John Hall, OSHA's Birmingham area director, investigators found one willful record keeping violation and one failure to abate violation, also involving record keeping.
The willful violation, carrying a proposed penalty of $50,000, concerned the company's failure to record injuries and illnesses on OSHA logs for 1996,1997, 1998, and 1999. These unrecorded cases included numerous instances of musculoskeletal disorders.
Additional fines totaling $18,000 were assessed because Uniroyal Goodrich did not abate a record keeping practice involving standard hearing threshold shifts. OSHA requires that employers record results of worker audiograms showing hearing losses of 25 decibels or greater.
Uniroyal Goodrich and Local 351L of the United Steelworkers of America have reached a joint settlement agreement with OSHA addressing the cited violations. According to the agreement,
the company will pay the $68,000 fine, make ergonomic upgrades to certain equipment, conduct ergonomic analyses on jobs identified during the inspection and take appropriate action, and provide training for safety teams, managers, and employees.
The company and union will co-sponsor four half-day seminars for businesses in the greater Tuscaloosa area on OSHA's new recordkeeping standard, scheduled for publication later this year.
The company and union will also co-sponsor four 90-minute workshops at the annual joint safety symposium of the United Steelworkers of America's Rubber and Plastics Conference in November, 1999.
OSHA Area Director John Hall described the settlement as a cooperative effort that provides safety enhancements to employees and the community. "This agreement goes well beyond what conventional citations would do," Hall said. "It further demonstrates OSHA's efforts to see new ways for advancing the cause of safety without the potential cost and burden of lengthy litigation."
Inspections of the worksite were conducted by OSHA's area office located at Vestavia Village, 2047 Canyon Rd., Birmingham, Ala. 35216-1981; telephone: (205) 731-1534.
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