LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 19, 2007) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a $132,500 penalty against T.O. Haas Tire Co. following an investigation of a fatal accident last summer at one of the dealership's stores.
OSHA, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, cited the Lincoln-based retail tire dealership for seven alleged safety violations. Those violations include one categorized as serious, two as willful, three as repeat and one as other-than-serious violations, OSHA said in a statement.
The accident happened July 15, the agency said without specifying at what store it happened.
T.O. Haas officials could not be reached for comment.
“An investigation was conducted after an employee suffered fatal injuries after being struck in the head while inflating a tire,” said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. “This tragic accident could have been prevented if OSHA regulations and equipment manufacturer's instructions had been followed.”
An OSHA spokesman said the dealership has 15 days after receiving the citation to either pay the penalty or contest it through an informal conference with the OSHA area director or through the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The serious citation, according to OSHA, addressed the company allegedly allowing employees to inflate tires above the maximum pressure recommended by the manufacturer to seat the tire bead firmly against the rim flange. The “willful” citations addressed the alleged failure to remove from service restraining devices exhibiting damage that would decrease their effectiveness as well as failure to ensure all inflation operations were done inside a tire restraining device or barrier, OSHA said.
The repeat citations addressed alleged failure by the dealership to ensure that each employee demonstrated and maintained the ability to service rim wheels safely, failure to guard the pulley on an air compressor and failure to guard the belt on an air compressor, OSHA said. The other-than-serious citation was issued for the T.O. Haas' failure to make an oral report of the fatality to OSHA within eight hours, the agency said.