Letter from NHBB President Gary Yomantas about Accident in Peterborough
May 06, 2014
To our employees and our local community:
On February 10, 2014, New Hampshire Ball Bearings experienced an explosion that affected a great many people across the region. Most devastating to us is that 22 people were injured in the blast, two very seriously. There was damage to the building and some loss of production. Our business will endure, although clearly the physical and psychological effects of this event will be felt for some time to come.
Since the evening of February 10th, we have been working with the Fire Marshal's Office, OSHA, and independent experts to determine the cause of the blast. We have determined that a chemical reaction occurred when nitric acid from a non-production process was transferred to a 55 gallon drum containing an acidic waste mixture. The acids in question are commonly used in industry for surface treatment and testing of metals.
NHBB takes our responsibility to provide a safe work environment very seriously and has invested millions of dollars in the infrastructure meant to safeguard our employees and our business. We are evaluating our policies, procedures, training, and organizational structure not only regarding chemical handling, but all other areas of our company, in all of our facilities, as well. We are confident that we are taking the necessary steps to prevent anything like this from happening again.
The tremendous outpouring of concern our local community has shown has been overwhelming. We so sincerely appreciate those that helped us immediately after the explosion and those that have contacted us in the weeks since. In every instance, the well-being of our employees has been first and foremost in everyone's actions and conversations. The response to this disaster from NHBB's employees, however, has truly humbled me. They've worked tirelessly to get NHBB back up and running and have shown a loyalty and dedication that we value very highly. Their positive attitude and strength of character is what makes NHBB and Minebea the best bearing company in the world.
On behalf of NHBB, I wish to express our deepest gratitude to all who've worked with us, helped us, or simply offered a kind word to our employees during this trying time. Please continue to keep our most seriously injured employees in your thoughts and prayers as they continue their recovery.
Gary C. Yomantas
President and CEO