US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Ford Motor Co.
for 8 serious safety and health violations at Buffalo, NY, plant
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ford Motor Co. for eight serious violations of OSHA's asbestos and respiratory protection standards at the company's Lakeshore Road plant in Buffalo. Ford faces a total of $41,800 in proposed fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Workers deserve to perform their duties in a safe environment knowing they are protected from unsafe exposure to asbestos and other hazardous materials," said Art Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that proper and effective safeguards are in place and in use at all times."
In one violation, a pipefitter working on a steam line was exposed to asbestos-containing material in its insulation. In other violations, respiratory protection was not worn by workers exposed to asbestos-containing material, and the work was not conducted within a regulated and properly demarcated area to minimize the number of workers within the area. Additionally, access to the area where asbestos work was conducted was not limited to authorized persons, and the employer did not perform monitoring to determine accurately the airborne concentrations of asbestos to which workers were potentially exposed.
"To prevent incidents like this from occurring, employers should implement and maintain an effective illness and injury prevention program. Employers should aim at working with their employees to identify, address and eliminate hazards before they occur," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Ford Motor Co. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Buffalo office at 716-551-3053.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.