Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was fined $274,050 by OSHA in March for unsafe conditions at its Akron powerhouse after an employee was buried in coal up to his neck while cleaning a coal bunker last September, according to theAkron Beacon-Journal.

A 56-year-old worker was trapped for four hours before rescue workers dug him out. Busy cleaning a bunker, the victim was sucked down with the coal when a coal pipe valve was opened.

Goodyear official told the newspaper the company has taken steps to improve worker training to avoid accidents. The company has also made unspecified physical changes to the powerhouse.

"The Akron powerhouse, historically, is one of our safest facilities," spokesman Keith Price told the Beacon-Journal. "This unfortunate situation serves as a reminder to everyone at Goodyear that safety cannot be taken for granted."

OSHA cited Goodyear for allowing a worker to enter a confined space, for lacking personal protective and rescue equipment, for lacking a lockout/tagout device to prevent activation of the coal bunker transfer valve, and for related training issues.