Danville, Virginia – Two years after reaching a settlement with Virginia regarding the accidental deaths of four workers at its Danville plant, Goodyear said it is progressing with creating a safer work environment at the facility.
"An in-depth review of our safety processes and culture in early 2017 revealed that we had not met our own expectations for safety leadership in Danville," said Ellis Jones, Goodyear senior director, global environmental health, safety and sustainability.
As a result, the company said it is focused on improving safety systems, including equipment, training and processes.
Additionally, the tire maker is implementing “a serious injury prevention programme and a safety leadership curriculum” for all plant leaders at the site.
Goodyear reached a $1.75 million (€1.55 million) settlement with the Virginia Department of Occupational Safety and Health in 2017.
The agreement was to settle 150 proposed citations connected with the following deaths at the Danville facility:
Jeanie Lynne Strader, caught in machine rollers on 31 Aug 2015;
Kevin Waid Edmunds, pinned between a wall and a pallet containing 3,500 pounds of rubber on 31 March 2016;
Charles Gregory Cooper, who fell into a pit sump containing scalding water and oil on 21 April 2016; and
William Christopher Scheier, killed while performing maintenance on an alpha shear machine on 12 Aug 2016.
In addition to the cash settlement, Goodyear and United Steelworkers Union Local 831 committed to completing the application process for membership in the Virginia Voluntary Protection programme.
Goodyear, said Jones, is “progressing along with the VPP process as planned in Danville.”
The agreement also set out an orderly process for eliminating the more than 1,400 workplace hazards VOSH inspectors identified at Danville, according to the agency.
"There will never be a 'finish line' to our safety obligations, and we continue to work hard every day to identify and remediate hazards in the workplace," he said.
"Based on our recent safety performance… our safety improvement strategy is moving us in the right direction," Jones added.