We have to protect people from asbestos. Serious offence for Ford.

U.S. cites Ford for asbestos violations at Buffalo plant

Adam  Rubenfire     Automotive News July 18, 2013 – 4:08 pm ET  — UPDATED:  7/18/13 4:20 pm ET – adds details

Ford Motor Co. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health  Administration for eight violations covering asbestos exposure at a stamping  plant in Buffalo, N.Y.

OSHA said Ford could face up to $41,800 in fines for failing to protect  workers from asbestos-containing material at the plant, the agency said  Wednesday.

OSHA inspectors reported that a pipefitter was exposed to asbestos-containing  material in the insulation of a steam line he was working on. In addition,  respiratory protection was not worn by workers who were exposed to  asbestos-containing material, and their work area was not properly organized to  limit the amount of employees working in the area, the agency said.

Asbestos-contained areas were not properly cordoned off, and airborne levels  of the hazardous mineral were not properly monitored, OSHA said.

Violations are defined as “serious” when death or significant injury to  workers is likely from a problem that Ford knew or should have known about,  according to the agency. Breathing asbestos fibers can lead to asbestosis, a  buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs that often leads to loss of lung  function, according to OSHA’s website. Exposure to asbestos can also cause lung  cancer or mesothelioma of the pleura, a rare form of cancer that occurs in the  lining of the lung or stomach.

A Ford spokeswoman said the company takes the safety of its workers very  seriously but doesn’t believe it should have been cited.

“We have fully cooperated with the local OSHA officials and we don’t believe  the citations are warranted,” she said. “We’ll work with the government to  resolve the matter in an appropriate manner.”

Ford has 15 business days from when it received the citations to comply, meet  with local OSHA officials, or contest the citations.

The factory employs 537 workers, Ford said. An official with the UAW, which  represents workers at the plant, could not immediately be reached for  comment.

You can reach Adam Rubenfire at arubenfire@crain.com

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130718/OEM01/130719851#ixzz2a79AJWsj Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook


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