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.