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Tireman Auto centers fined $177,800 by OSHA

A Maumee automotive service chain has been fined $177,800 by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an accident and follow-up inspections in October found alleged serious and willful safety violations.

Tireman Auto Service Centers Ltd. was cited for three willful violations of worker safety regulations, the most serious category, following an October incident in which four workers were hurt when an agricultural tire they were working near exploded.

"Employees that work with agricultural tires and high-pressure air face serious injury or even death if proper OSHA safety regulations are not followed," OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi said in a statement. "Those who ignore these safety regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said the company failed to provide a cage or barrier to protect workers servicing such tires, failed to ensure employees worked outside the trajectory path, and exceeded the maximum tire pressure while seating the tire.

The company also received two serious violation citations for failing the ensure workers wore safety glasses and failing to have a required valve pressure gauge.

The willful violations carried a proposed penalty of $168,000, while the two serious violations carried a proposed penalty of $9,800.

The company has 15 days to appeal the citations. Randy Jones, an official with Tireman Auto Service Centers, did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.

The car repair chain used to be owned by The Andersons Inc., but was sold in 2000 to Mr. Jones and World Tire Corp.

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