Fair Salvage cited by OSHA after Gage death

September 16, 2019

By Pat Maurer

Fair Salvage Company, south of Clare, is facing a $45,000 fine from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the February 4th explosion at the salvage company that killed employee Ethan Gage.
Gage, also a volunteer firefighter with Clare since May of 2012, was a lieutenant and training officer with the Clare Fire Department.

According to a February release from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office, Gage, who was 26, was using a tire changing machine on a farm implement around 1:30 p.m. February 4th when the tire suddenly exploded. He suffered traumatic head injuries and died at the scene, Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman said at a press conference after the accident.

The MiOSHA investigation, which began February 5th and ran until June 3, found seven violations of workplace safety, six of them listed as “serious.”
The citations, received by Fair Salvage August 5th, included:

*inadequate training for employees that service tires and wheel assemblies;

*no restraining device;

*no manual available for single-piece rim wheel maintenance;

*no clip-on chuck and in-line valve with a gauge or pressure regulator on the air line chuck;

*use of cross-linked polyethylene tubes and fitting to supply compressed air; and

*inflating a single-piece rim flat on the ground with an employee in the wheel’s trajectory.

The seventh violation was for failure to report a workplace fatality within eight hours.

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