DANVILLE, Va. (Aug. 16, 2016) — Goodyear and the United Steelworkers (USW) union are investigating the death of William “Billy” Scheier, an electrician at the tire maker's Danville plant.
A Goodyear employee for almost six years, Mr. Scheier was killed early in the morning of Aug. 12, according to the company.
His is the fourth death to occur at the tire factory in the last year. The official cause of death was not released by the company, but a USW official indicated he was crushed by a machine.
In a prepared statement, the Akron-based tire maker said the firm's onsite emergency response team, as well as local emergency personnel, responded immediately after the accident.
It said Goodyear and the USW have been working together to investigate the root cause of the incident. The company also said it was cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the matter.
“It's premature to talk about the next steps at this point,” a Goodyear spokeswoman said. She added that the factory is operating, the company is fully cooperating with OSHA and also is conducting an internal investigation into the incident in partnership with local union leadership.
On April 12, maintenance mechanic Charles (Greg) Cooper died from burns and drowning suffered in an accident at the plant, according to the office of the chief medical examiner in Roanoke, Va. The 52-year-old Martinsville, Va., resident had worked at the factory for 18 years, a company spokeswoman said.
Just a few weeks earlier, on March 31, 54-year-old Kevin Edmonds died of asphyxiation in an industrial accident at the plant.