The Ford Stamping Plant is located along the shores of Lake Erie at 3663 S. Lake Shore Road in Hamburg, New York. The plant opened its doors in 1950 and has continuously manufactured sheet metal stampings including, quarter panels, roofs, doors, hoods, floor pans and body sides. The labor force at this plant consists of members of the United Auto Workers Union Local #897. Asbestos was frequently incorporated into products that the Hamburg Ford plant manufactured, and asbestos also insulated a wide variety of machinery and equipment at the plant. Asbestos was used as an insulation material and in the manufacturing process from the opening of the plant through to the late 1970s. Retirees and senior workers who worked at the Hamburg plant are at the greatest risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
UAW members who worked at Ford were exposed to asbestos through a wide variety of applications. Ford manufactured asbestos-containing automobile parts, and Ford employees were called upon to apply an asbestos-containing, sound proof material to the inside of car doors and other metal stamped products. Ford employees also worked in the vicinity of machinery that contained asbestos. Metal stamping involved the use of large presses, which turned the sheet metal into formed auto body parts. These presses used asbestos-containing brakes, and each time the machines were cycled, some of the asbestos rubbed away from the brake linings or pads and into the breathing zone of workers.
Asbestos was also used in the maintenance and upkeep of the plant. Structural steel, stairwells and ceilings were sprayed with asbestos fireproofing. Hot water and steam pipes were insulated with asbestos-containing pipe insulation. Boilers and furnaces were insulated with asbestos block and cement. Pumps and valves were sealed with asbestos gaskets and rope packing. Even in the business offices, asbestos-containing joint compound was used to finish drywall, and asbestos was a component of floor and ceiling tiles. Of course, any individual exposure to any one of these products varied based upon a worker’s years of service and their proximity to the asbestos-containing materials.
Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC represents former workers and retirees from the Ford Stamping plant in Hamburg, New York. In the process of representing these workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the types of asbestos-containing materials to which our clients were exposed. If you or a loved one were once employed at the Ford Stamping plant and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.