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Goodyear faces over $1M in Fines after 4 Employee Deaths

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Danville, VA – The  Virginia Department of Labor has cited Goodyear’s Danville (VA) facility with nearly $850,000 in fines for workplace safety violations and about $165,000 for health violations. The state issued a grand total of 122 citations including 89 “serious,” four “willful-serious” workplace safety violations, and 26 “serious” and three “other-than-serious” health violations.goodyear employee deaths

In addition, Goodyear was also cited and penalized for the death of Charles “Greg” Cooper at the Danville Goodyear plant on April 12, and for separate non-fatal accidents in which an employee was burned by steam, a machine operator was injured when their arm got caught in a feed conveyor, and another was hurt when their arm got caught in a takeaway belt cement bridge roller.

The largest employer in the Danville area, the Goodyear Tire plant has been the scene of 4 employee deaths within the past year. Billy Scheier died on August 12 from blunt injuries to the chest and medical asphyxia. Greg Cooper died on April 12. Kevin Edmonds died during his work shift on March 31. And in August 2015, Jeanie Lynne Strader also died in an accident at the plant.

The Danville plant was cited for failing to maintain workroom floors in a clean and dry condition and Goodyear was also penalized for not having procedures for controlling “potentially hazardous energy.” These equipment-specific Lockout/Tagout procedures need to be followed before employees troubleshoot problems or perform maintenance on equipment.

VOSH found nearly two dozen instances and locations of inadequate machine guarding within the Danville facility. Their statement says that Goodyear did not provide methods for machine guarding to protect operators and other employees from hazards “such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip joints, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.”

Virginia Department of Labor also found untrained machine operators at the Danville Goodyear plant were exposed to 120-to-480-volt circuit conductors when opening cabinet doors to adjust timers and resetting overcurrent devices for machines. Arc Flash accidents generally happen lighting quick and without warning. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Training is paramount to avoiding any electrical accident. The Martin Technical Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Labeling and Safety Program is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Read more about our Arc Flash safety and training programs.

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