Fines Mount Up For Titan’s Bryan Facility
Titan Tire is perhaps smarting a little after being slapped with an additional US$140,000 fine for two wilful violations of workplace safety regulations on top of the $24,500 penalty already mooted by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These violations were discovered following inspections made after a steam explosion at the company’s Bryan giant tyre facility in November 2008, in which one employee was slightly injured.
According to the Toledo Blade, OSHA follow-up inspections found problems related to the factory’s tyre curing equipment. Specifically, four of the units that use 2,900 tonnes of pressure to compress rubber and metal into 63-inch, 5.9 tonne tyres “were not adequately proof-tested and had welds of insufficient quality or strength to handle the exerted pressure.”
The wilful violations, which each carry the agency’s maximum fine of $70,000, were discovered after an internal referral sent OSHA inspectors back to the Bryan facility in February. The wilful violations allege that Titan exposed its employees to dangerous situations because it placed four tyre curing units “into initial service without testing and the return of those units to service, after repairs and/or modifications to critical components, without testing to assure safe operations.” It is also alleged that Titan failed to assure that modifications and repairs it made to the four tyre curing units were “made consistent with the industry codes and design specifications.”
The four tyre curing units cited in the two complaints do not include the one that was the source of the steam explosion in November, said OSHA area director Jule Hovi.