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OSHA deflates tire company with serious fines for violations

Companies seek to provide a quality product or service for its customers. In furtherance of that goal, they are required to provide employees with a safe working environment. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed in order to ensure that employers meet safety regulations, and OSHA has the authority to issue citations and impose fines when a company violates those standards. Missouri workers are entitled to work in an environment that protects them from harm.

Recently, OSHA released its findings of a follow-up inspection concerning a tire manufacturing plant. The company opened in 2016 and was found to be in violation of several safety regulations after an inspection in 2017. After receiving no response from company officials concerning a correction plan, OSHA inspectors returned for a follow-up visit beginning last November. The federal agency imposed fines in excess of $500,000 for approximately 21 serious violations, the majority of which involved the same areas of concern from the previous report.

According to the inspectors, employees of the plant were exposed to dangers that posed a serious risk of injury or death. Some of the problems cited included the risk of falls from unguarded pits, amputation risk from open machinery and exposure to excessive energy and electrical hazards. OSHA placed the company in its program for severe violators. This program is for those employers who demonstrate a willful disregard for the welfare of their employees.

The majority of the $507,000 in fines is in response to the uncorrected 2017 violations. Kumho tires, which can produce more than four million tires annually, has until the middle of June to respond to the agency's findings. Missouri workers who have suffered a serious injury or illness on-the-job may seek the assistance of an attorney when filing a claim for benefits from the workers' compensation insurance program in pursuit of securing the maximum applicable benefits.

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