FORT WORTH, Texas — Columbia, Miss.-based Southern Tire Mart L.L.C. is facing $341,195 in fines after the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the company for alleged safety violations at its Fort Worth retread plant.
OSHA issued 17 citations June 10 against Southern Tire Mart — one willful, three repeat, 10 serious and three other-than-serious — in connection with the Dec. 19, 2018, death of a worker at the Fort Worth plant.
The employee suffered fatal injuries while trying to inflate a tire on a single-piece truck rim.
The "willful" violation accounted for $132,598 of the fine, according to an OSHA document. It involved the alleged failure to provide a restraining device or barrier as required by OSHA regulations to the workers who were inflating tires on the truck rims.
The three "repeat" violations involved allegedly not training forklift truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely and allegedly not providing exit signs indicating the way to safety in case of an accident, the agency said.
The "serious" violations involved allegedly not providing seat belts for forklift truck operators, not providing portable fire extinguishers, and exposing workers to electrocution, amputation and struck-by hazards.
The fire extinguisher violation was corrected during the inspection when the company provided an extinguisher, OSHA said. The agency gave Southern Tire Mart until July 9 to correct the others.
As is usual with OSHA citations, Southern Tire Mart has 15 days to pay the fines, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In a statement, Southern Tire Mart (STM) said it has received the OSHA citations and is still evaluating the agency’s findings.
"However, STM remains committed to working with OSHA representatives to see that the best practices are followed for the safety of its employees and the public,” the company said.
The Fort Worth plant is one of 24 Bandag-system retread plants that Southern Tire operates in the U.S., following its acquisition of six plants earlier this year from Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s GCR Tires & Service business unit.