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OSHA Fines Ohio Based Cooper Tire & Rubber for Willful Safety Violations

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., an Ohio based company, was fined over $206,000 by the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The fines were issued for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s failure to provide a safe environment for its workers at their manufacturing plants.

The company allegedly failed to provide the appropriate protection for its employees from hazardous chemicals. The allegedly willful behavior made the employees susceptible to unnecessary risks for fire and explosions that could lead to serious workplace injury.

The willful behavior that led to the "failure to protect" allegations arose out of the company's specific failure to provide fire suppression controls on certain processing equipment and a failure to limit the "accumulation of combustible dust on equipment and the building superstructure."

"The lack of employee protection from fire, explosions and hazardous chemicals is completely unacceptable," the Ohio area director for OSHA stated. "OSHA is committed to ensuring workers have a safe and healthful workplace, and failing to follow proper safety and health procedures puts workers at unnecessary risk."

The tire company was cited with two willful violations, five serious violations and two repeat violations issued within five years prior. Each separate incidence constituted a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 that requires employers to "provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees" to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.

The company will have 15 business days after they receive the citations to take action by complying with the requirements of the citation, requesting an informal conference or contesting the citations.

Source: United States Department of Labor, OSHA "US Labor Department's OSHA fines Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. more than $206,000 for willful, serious and repeat safety and health violations" Scott Allen and Rhonda Burke 11/29/10

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