Goodyear Reaches $1.75 Million Settlement After Four Worker Deaths

Feb. 14, 2017
Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) settles with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company after four fatal accidents in one year.

Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has agreed to pay $1.75 million in penalties and overhaul its health and safety program after four fatalities occurred at its Danville, Va. plant over the course of a year.

Jeanie Strader, Kevin Waid Edmond,  Charles “Greg” Cooper  and William Scheier were killed at the facility between August 2015 and August 2016. Eleven subsequent investigations discovered numerous violations at the plant, which manufactures aviation and specialty tires.

“USW Local Union 831L is pleased that this process has concluded with a very positive settlement agreement that will benefit all of us working at the Danville Goodyear plant now and in the future,” said Danny Barber, president, USW Local Union 831L in a statement. “While nothing will replace our sister and brothers who were fatally injured, the elements of the settlement agreement between VOSH and Goodyear will greatly improve safety at the Danville Plant.”

The multifaceted agreement lays out a process for addressing workplace hazards such as machine guarding, fall protection, adequate training and forklift safety, all which contributed in some way to the fatalities. In addition, the company has a new manager to oversee changes at the plant, which employs 2,200 workers.

“Goodyear is committed to working in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United Steelworkers to continually identify hazards and improve the safety of our Danville plant, with the goal of acceptance in the Commonwealth’s Voluntary Protection Program,” said Greg Kerr, plant manager, Goodyear Danville to the press. “On a personal note, having been recently named Danville’s plant manager, I want to assure the Danville community and all my coworkers that nothing is more important to me or Goodyear than the safety of our associates.”

The agreement also includes a commitment from both Goodyear and United Steelworkers to assist the Danville facility in its membership with the Virginia Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The company will be able to retain up to $750,000 in penalties for use at the plant to abate hazards identified during the VOSH inspections and to assist with meeting VPP requirements.

Virginia Commissioner C. Ray Davenport says the entire process may take as long as five years, but it does represent a “significant” commitment by Goodyear to improve.

 “We were all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life at the Goodyear Danville Plant and for the families and co-workers involved,” said Davenport in a statement. “I can think of no better tribute to those who lost their lives and those who continue to work at the plant than to take the combined resources and efforts of the department, Goodyear and the United Steelworkers to turn the Goodyear Danville Plant into one of the safest and healthiest places to work in the country.”

Lastly, Goodyear will be required to host three important VPP Best Practices Day training sessions for hundreds of employers from around the state during 2017, 2018 and 2019.

All open cases with the state’s VOSH program will be resolved as a result of the settlement.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!