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OSHA targets firm making plastic balls used in fracking

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it may fine a manufacturing company in New York for 48 alleged violations of workplace safety regulations.

OSHA on Monday said it issued a “citation and notification of penalty” against Fort Edward, New York-based A. Hyatt Ball Co., a maker of plastic balls used in hydraulic fracturing, for violations including improper storage of flammable liquids, the lack of a fire alarm and fire-suppression system, and a lack of a ventilation system needed to abate the presence of potentially combustible dust.

According to OSHA, A. Hyatt Ball has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to “comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission” or face $105,200 in proposed fines.

“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,” Kim Castillon, OSHA’s area director in Albany, New York, said in a statement. “The company must correct not only the chemical, fire and explosion hazards, but also the wide range of violations that expose its employees to falls, crushing injuries, chemical burns, lacerations and eye and face injuries.”

A company spokesperson was unavailable for comment.