There were plenty of reminders why safety should always be emphasized in manufacturing.
Oregon Rubber Mills was fined $3,600 by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration stemming from an August 2018 fatal accident at its facility in Corvallis, Ore., that claimed the life of Trenton Howe. The 23-year-old was operating a cutter machine at the site when another employee asked him to assist with a batch of rubber running through one of the plant's festoon machines.
Howe was asked to help the employee get a strip of rubber onto the conveyor belt so the rubber could be placed on a pallet, according to Oregon OSHA's report. When no rubber came out, the employee went to the other side and found Howe caught in the festoon machine. He was pronounced dead on the scene of a broken neck.
Oregon Rubber Mills did not appeal the citation and has erected a barrier to prevent workers from stepping into the machine, according to a company spokesman.
Goodyear had its own issues with safety in the past few years, with four fatalities at its plant in Danville, Va. The firm said it began an in-depth review of its safety processes and culture in early 2017 and renewed its focus on improving. The tire maker paid $1.75 million to the Virginia Department of Occupational Safety and Health in a settlement regarding 150 proposed citations connected with the four deaths at the facility.
On May 9, a man lost part of his right arm at Liberty Tire Recycling L.L.C.'s Des Moines, Iowa, facility. The firm did not release his name, but he was identified as an employee.
And in June, OSHA fined Kumho Tire $507,299 for a total of 22 alleged violations—12 serious, nine repeat and one other-than-serious—at its plant in Macon, Ga. Two other companies working for Kumho at Macon were fined a combined $16,596.
Custom Rubber Products L.L.C. also was fined a total of $530,592 for four alleged willful violations at its plant in Houston.