A manufacturer of custom-sized resin balls used in the petroleum industry exposed its employees to a breathtaking array of hazards, according to OSHA, which has leveled 48 violations and $105,200 in fines against A. Hyatt Ball Co., Inc. in Fort Edward, New York.

"Our inspection identified a disturbing number of violations. A. Hyatt Ball lacks basic safety and health programs to prevent fires, explosions or an uncontrolled release of highly hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer and can cause allergic reactions to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract," said Kim Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany.

Flammable formaldehyde

"The ball manufacturing process requires the storage and use of up to 1,900 pounds of a flammable formaldehyde solution. When storing or using more than 1,000 pounds of formaldehyde in a chemical process, the company has a responsibility to protect its employees with an effective Process Safety Management program."

Combustible dust, locked exits

OSHA inspectors found the presence of combustible resin dust; flammable liquids improperly stored and transferred; no audible fire alarm and fire-suppression system; and locked and obstructed exit routes.

The citations can be viewed here.