An employee of a Tennessee tire plant was killed May 8 when he was caught in the moving arms of an assembly machine.
According to a report by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA), 33-year-old Ben Shew, a mechanic at Specialty Tires of Unicoi, had completed a welding repair on the machine while the power was locked out. After power was restored, though, Shew noticed a loose bolt and reached down to tighten it. The machine started back up and Shew was caught between equipment that moved in a circular motion and from side to side.
Following an inspection, the TSOHA issued two serious violation citations to Specialty Tires of Unicoi, with proposed penalties of $6,800.
The company was cited for failure to have an energy control procedure and failure to conduct regular inspections of an energy control program and ensuring that employees understand and comply with such a program.
Under an agreement with TSOHA, the company corrected the violations and agreed not to contest the violations. TSOHA agreed to reduce the violations type to “other than serious.” The monetary penalties stand.