Tire Manufacturer Fined After Explosion, Amputation

Three workers were injured in separate incidents on consecutive days.

Federal labor officials have levied penalties of more than $340,000 against a major tire manufacturer after three of its workers were injured over two days at a plant in southern Illinois.

Continental Tire, a subsidiary of the German auto supplier of the same name, notified OSHA officials last November after an employee at the Mount Vernon facility suffered the amputation of three fingers while unjamming a machine.

The following day, two more Mount Vernon employees suffered major injuries when an industrial rubber-compound mixer β€” containing combustible dust and flammable gas β€” exploded. One suffered a concussion, while the other was hospitalized with severe burns.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the proposed fines for nearly two dozen safety infractions, including two repeated violations, 16 serious violations and five other-than-serious violations. The agency also alleged that the company had deficient safety procedures related to energy control, dust mitigation and hazard communication, among others.

The company has 15 working days to contest the allegations. For any violations that are not contested, federal officials ordered the company to take corrective action within the timeframes specified in the citation; most are required by early June or mid-August.

The Mount Vernon factory is one of three Continental Tire plants in the U.S. that manufacture tires for passenger vehicles, light trucks and commercial vehicles.

More in Video