Walsh & Kelly Inc. has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine, imposed by the Indiana
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA), in connection with
the death in September of an employee killed when the tire on the
Caterpillar Wheel Loader he was inflating exploded.
Around 4:02 p.m. Sept. 9, Ty Richard Outzen, 47, of Rensselaer, was
inflating the tire at Walsh & Kelly’s asphalt plant at 3221 Bertholet Blvd.
in Valparaiso when it ruptured, causing what Coroner Chuck Harris described
at the time as a “small explosion.”
An autopsy subsequently determined that Outzen died of blunt force trauma to
the head and torso, the result not of tire fragments but of the explosive
discharge of air against his body.
On Nov. 22, IOSHA issued an order which found eight “serious” violations on
Walsh & Kelly’s part, including the following:
•Failure to ensure that no employee services a multi-piece rim wheel unless
•Failure to ensure that each employee demonstrates an ability to safely
service a multi-piece rim wheel.
•Failure to furnish an air-line assembly equipped with a clip-on chuck for
inflating tires on rim wheels.
•Failure to furnish an air-line assembly whose length of hose is sufficient
to allow an employee to stand outside the trajectory while inflating tires
on rim wheels.
In that original order, IOSHA fined Walsh & Kelly $4,000 per violation for a
total penalty of $32,000.
On Dec. 16, however, Walsh & Kelly and IOSHA entered into a settlement
agreement under which Walsh & Kelly stipulated to a total penalty of $5,000
and IOSHA deleted all but one of the “serious” violations and amended that
first one to read as follows:
“The employer did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were
reasonably safe and healthful for employees and free from recognized hazards
that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to
employees, in that employees were exposed to broken bones, contusions, and
death were a tire on a multi-piece rim wheel was aired up by an untrained
The $5,000 fine is due within 15 working days of Walsh & Kelly’s execution
of the settlement agreement.