OSHA Fines Tire Company After Fatality

OSHA has fined T.O. Haas LLC – a wholesale and retail tire service company in Imperial, Neb. – $132,000 for seven alleged violations, following the agency's investigation of a July 15, 2006, fatal accident.

"An investigation was conducted after an employee suffered fatal injuries after being struck in the head while inflating a tire," said Charles Adkins, CIH, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "This tragic accident could have been prevented if OSHA regulations and equipment manufacturer's instructions had been followed."

OSHA said it issued a serious citation to the employer for allegedly allowing employees to inflate tires above the maximum pressure recommended by the manufacturer to "seat" the tire bead firmly against the rim flange. Two willful citations were issued for the employer's alleged failure to remove from service any restraining device or barrier exhibiting damage that would decrease its effectiveness and failure to ensure all inflation operations are done inside a tire-restraining device or barrier.

Three repeat citations addressed T.O. Haas' alleged failure to:

  • Ensure that each employee demonstrated and maintained the ability to service rim wheels safely;
  • Adequately guard the pulley on the air compressor; and
  • Adequately guard the belt on an air compressor in the facility.

An other-than-serious citation was issued for the employer's alleged failure to make an oral report of the fatality to OSHA within 8 hours of the event.

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