OSHA opens investigation into fatal Goodyear incident

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:24 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - OSHA has opened an investigation into the fatal incident at the Topeka Goodyear Tire Plant.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed to 13 NEWS on Wednesday morning, Sept. 28, that it has opened an investigation into a fatal incident at the Topeka Goodyear Tire Plant. The investigation was opened on Monday.

By law, OSHA noted that it has six months to complete its investigation. It said it will not release any further information until the investigation is complete.

OSHA also indicated that since 2017, it has conducted seven inspections at the Topeka Goodyear facility. Only two of those resulted in citations. One of which involved a lockout/tag out violation and the second was a working/walking surface violation.

According to OSHA’s website, a lockout/tag out is the procedure necessary to disable machinery or equipment while a working/walking surface should be void of all hazards including sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow or ice.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office was called to the Topeka Goodyear tire plant in the 1900 block of NW U.S. Highway 24 with reports of a man who sustained life-threatening injuries while on the job.

The victim, later identified as Tim Cole, 59, of Topeka, was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead by medical staff.

“We deeply regret that an associate passed away Sept. 24 at the Goodyear-Topeka plant,” a Goodyear spokesperson said in a statement to 13 NEWS. “Our thoughts are with our co-worker and his family and colleagues. At Goodyear, the safety of our associates is always our first priority. We have reported the incident to OSHA and are fully cooperating with their investigation. We are unable to share further information for privacy reasons.”

The incident remains under investigation.

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A 59-year-old male employee was killed at the Topeka tire plant on Saturday morning, according to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.