TUPELO, Miss. (June 16, 2011)— Region 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has proposed fines of nearly $255,000 against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and two outside contractors for alleged safety violations at Cooper's Tupelo manufacturing facility.
OSHA gave Cooper the largest single fines, totaling $140,000, for two alleged willful violations of failing to provide fire protection in the plant's ductwork and failing to install equipment or use wiring methods approved specifically for use in hazardous locations. The agency defines willful violations as signifying either intentional disregard of OSHA safety regulations or plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Nine serious violations, two other-than-serious violations and one repeat violation brought the total proposed fines against Cooper to $203,500, OSHA said.
JESCO Maintenance Corp., a maintenance contractor at the plant, was cited for eight alleged serious violations and fined a total of $44,000. IH Services, another contractor, was cited for one alleged serious violation and fined $7,000.
According to OSHA, all three companies have 15 business days to pay the fines, request a conference with the agency's Mississippi area director or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Review Commission. A news report said Cooper planned to contest the findings, but Cooper officials could not be reached to confirm this.