The deaths of four employees over a one-year period at a Danville manufacturing plant have resulted in a substantial settlement and fines for one of the most well-known tire makers in the world. Keep reading to find out what makes this settlement deal so unique.
Virginia’s occupational safety and health program (VOSH) announced a joint, comprehensive settlement agreement with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear) and the United Steelworkers (USW). The agreement provides for a total of $1.75 million in penalties and calls for elimination of the numerous workplace hazards identified during 11 VOSH inspections.
The agreement also includes an unusual commitment from all parties to help the plant become a national leader in safety and health by completing an application for Virginia’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The state says Goodyear will be able to use up to $750,000 in penalties at the site to abate hazards identified during the inspections.
Said state labor commissioner C. Ray Davenport, “I can think of no better tribute to those who lost their lives and those who continue to work at the plant than to take the combined resources and efforts of the department, Goodyear, and the United Steelworkers to turn the Goodyear Danville Plant into one of the safest and healthiest places to work in the country.”
Over the past 18 months, Virginia OSHA conducted four fatal accident investigations, two non-fatal accident investigations, three employee complaint inspections, and comprehensive safety and health “wall-to-wall” inspections. The settlement resolves all the open cases.
The state believes the VPP application process could take as long as five years. Under the agreement, Goodyear will host three VPP training sessions for hundreds of area employers during 2017, 2018, and 2018.
USW local union president Danny Barber commented, “While nothing will replace our sister and brothers who were fatally injured, the elements of the settlement agreement between VOSH and Goodyear will greatly improve safety at the Danville plant.”