A federal agency has issued $100,000 in fines and cited a company for 19 violations in connection with the death of a former Crockett man killed in a tire-shredding accident.
Byron Jones, 26, died in January at a tire recycling plant named Genan in northeast Harris County. It was his fourth day on the job, attorney Andrew Seerden, who is representing Jones’ family, told Chron.com. “I don’t know exactly what safety training he received at this point,” Seerden added.
OSHA initially levied $204,549 in fines against the company but the website now shows an informal settlement of $100,000.
According to the Genan website, the company has plants in Denmark and Germany, and the plant located near Houston is the world’s largest tire recycling plant. Online OSHA records indicate that there has never been an accident at the Harris County site since it opened in 2014.
The OSHA investigation details the incident:
At 7:30 p.m. on January 26, 2018, an employee was working for a wholesaler of recycled material. He was clearing a tire jam inside a shredder. To enter the shredder, he had passed a functioning light curtain. Once inside the shredder, the employee reset the light curtain. The reset button of the light curtain was on the side of the shredder past the light curtain (presumably, within its boundary). The narrative did not state whether he did this before or after the jam had been cleared. Once the light curtain had been reset, the shredder started operating. The employee was pulled into the shredder and was killed.
The website also gives text for the citation:
The employer did not furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from the recognized hazards which are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were exposed to dust explosion, deflagration and fire hazards caused by equipment used to recycle tires:
- a) On or about January 26, 2018, at the facility where employees were exposed to dust explosion, deflagration and fire hazards when the air material separators (filters) located inside the building were not protected from explosion hazards.
- b) On or about January 26, 2018, at the facility where employees were exposed to dust explosion, deflagration and fire hazards when the granulators did not have isolation devices to prevent deflagration.
- c) On or about January 26, 2018, at the facility where employees were exposed to dust explosion deflagration, and fire hazards when the air material separators (filters) did not have an isolation device to prevent a deflagration from traveling upstream.
Other violations listed:
- Safety requirements for scaffolding.
- Manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds (towers).
- Respiratory Protection.
- Permit-required confined spaces
- The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).
- General requirements for all machines.