Ford has come under fire from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations regarding asbestos exposure in a company metal stamping plant in Buffalo, NY. OSHA has cited Ford for eight violations in total, according to an Automotive News report, and faces fines of up to $41,800. 537 workers are employed at the stamping facility.

The violations include a pipefitter at the facility being exposed to asbestos-containing material while working on a steam line, other workers exposed to the material without respiratory protection and work areas that were not designed to limited the number of workers in contact with asbestos. Further, areas in which asbestos was present were not properly restricted, and levels of asbestos in the air were not monitored.

According to an unnamed Ford spokesperson in the AN report, the company feels that the OSHA citation is erroneous saying, "We have fully cooperated with the local OSHA officials and we don't believe the citations are warranted." Ford also maintains that it will work with the authorities to resolve the issue.


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  • 29 Comments
      mumbojumbo
      • 1 Year Ago
      My father started working at the Buffalo Stamping Plant when the Mustang came out back in 1965 and retired over 30 years later. In it's hay day it was a cranking facility with thousands of employees working 3 shifts. He was happy for the opportunity to have good work, but told us how physically debilitating it was feeding sheets of steel into presses all day every day, and was glad he got the opportunity to switch to the Automation and Robotics tool and die department. The plant itself is a skeleton of its old self now. The UAW benefits were good, but it cost my dad his hearing from the rock concert loud presses running full tilt for decades. I couldn't believe how loud the factory was when I got to visit during normal operations instead of an open house day. You had to scream into the ear of the person you were trying to talk to, so unfortunately dad is deaf now even though he wore earplugs at work. The presses were amazing in size and technology. Standing 3 stories tall and the lines were as long as a football field full of presses. There were a few fatalities over the years from accidents and so on like any factory. It seems silly though that they should be worried about asbestos when the more obvious workplace hazard is either getting run over, losing your hearing, severed limbs/fingers, among many other physical risks. Heck, half the houses built over the years in the Buffalo area were made with asbestos and still have it, including the one I grew up in. Just leave it alone and it won't bother you. And give some of the UAW guys a break, they aren't all slackers and they gave a lot of themselves to provide for their families.
        dukeisduke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mumbojumbo
        My worry would be that the asbestos lawyers will latch onto this, in an attempt to bleed Ford dry.
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Asbestos is a fairly easy fix, and Ford has spent millions to abate their plants thru the years, I can't believe Ford didn't follow the letter of the law in this plant. besides this is normally not a OSHA issue but a EPA issue. As for Raz who things Ford should move down south like Nissan, like there no "dirty" plants down south, he should tour some old textile mills in SC, or old furniture factories in NC, and steel mill in Alabama. One of the cleanest plants in the world is the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn, and it will be 100 years old soon.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      What year is this?
      Eric Cameron
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sorry, but only $41,800? How is this a fine when 537 people could have their lives ruined? Why not just get rid of that crap and build new? They've posted profits last year, why not spend a little bit for the sake of their employees safety, instead of denying there are no potential problems...
        techie69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Eric Cameron
        That are a lot of things Ford gets away with, this is nothing and somehow it gets to be a darling in the media.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Eric Cameron
        I was thinking the same thing. Probably cheaper to pay the fine than fix the asbestos problem.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        TwoBits
        • 1 Year Ago
        A. Buffalo is not colder (maybe more snow). B. There is also a GM powertrain facility here, along with a handful of other auto-related facilities. C. Do tell me, why do they need to move?
          TwoBits
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TwoBits
          Hahaha you think Buffalo is close to NYC don't you... do you know the cost of living in Buffalo?
        Denny Gaughan
        • 1 Year Ago
        i live in buffalo :(
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Denny Gaughan
          [blocked]
        Autoholics Anonymous
        I have only one word for you as the most likely culprit: Unions.
      Andy Drake
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pfft. Asbestos doesn't hurt you. I mean come on, it even has the word "best" in it. If anything it only made the employees better. :P
      pdbliz
      • 1 Year Ago
      FORD,,,,,,,DID NOT TALE ANY BAILOUT MONEY....................KEEP YOUR EYES ON OUR GOVERMENT... FORD,,,,,,YOU THE MAN,,,,,,,,,,,,,GO CAT GO.!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      Randy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Think about it. Why would Ford not put up a $5 sign ot provide inexpensive respirators and opt for putting anyone in harms way? And why is OSHA just seeing this now? Maybe a rule change? Maybe miscommunication? I doubt it was blatant disregard considering how much Bill Ford cares about folks. Anyway...
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford will give every employee at the plant a brand new 2014 Mustang.
      pdbliz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford ...no 1 for many years and will always be.!!!!!!!!!!!
      Anthony McAdams
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford should use this to go through ALL its legacy plants, I'm sure they didn't sell ALL the buildings Henry bought.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Asbestos abatement is not an easy thing. Asbestos is only dangerous in it's "friable" state, i.e. dried out and producing the tiny floating fibers that are the problem. It's often significantly more dangerous to try and eliminate stable / non-friable asbestos than to leave it if it's in a stable condition, as moving it can produce the dangerous fibers. It's an expensive and time intensive problem to reduce it, and the last thing manufacturing plants need is down time. So if the danger is identified and properly accounted for, it's often significantly less dangerous to leave it be than to try and eliminate it. And short term exposure in small quantities is not particularly dangerous. It's only truly dangerous during long term exposure. So the small amount remaining in this plant is not really a huge issue, which is why the fines are so low.
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