Longtime Nissan worker killed at Smyrna plant is identified

June 18, 2013

Longtime Nissan worker killed at Smyrna plant is identified

Michael Hooper died in accident early Sunday

By Adam Tamburin
| The Tennessean

Authorities are investigating after a technician was killed Sunday in an accident at the Smyrna Nissan vehicle assembly plant.

It marks the second death at the plant in two months.

Michael Hooper, 43, was killed at about 1:30 a.m., according to Nissan spokesman Justin P. Saia. He was killed in the body assembly area of the plant.

Hooper had been a Nissan employee for 21 years.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our colleague and friend,” Saia said. “The company is working with authorities to investigate today’s incident and is doing everything possible to support those affected.”

In the earlier accident, on April 25, a man was killed when a large electrical panel fell while it was being moved in one of the plant’s paint areas.

Since 2010, the Nissan plant in Smyrna has been the subject of three workplace safety complaints and one referral to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The plant was fined $4,000 last year stemming from a 2010 referral that found two serious TOSHA violations for “control of hazardous energy.”

According to the federal workplace safety definition, this standard covers “the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected … start up of the machines or equipment or release of stored energy could harm employees.”

The three workplace safety complaints, two of which came in 2012, were inspected by TOSHA, which did not find any violations.

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