Sid Harvey Industries Company History
Sid Harvey Industries is a manufacturer and wholesale supplier of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration parts and equipment with roughly 75 locations in about a dozen states.
When the company was founded in 1931, though – based out of a second-floor, rented office space in Hempstead, New York – most of these technologies, as we now know them, didn’t exist. Instead, Sidney W. Harvey’s business plan was to supply parts and equipment to the oil heating industry. The company was born during the Great Depression but managed to grow throughout the New York metropolitan area by its mail order catalogues and a parts repair business that was cost-effective for customers. The company began to expand further after World War II, opening more locations in New York and also spreading toward Boston and Philadelphia.
As the air-conditioning and refrigeration parts businesses grew in the 1950s, Sid Harvey Industries began expanding into these areas. In 1962, the company purchased Victor Sales & Supply, a heating-ventilating-air-conditioning supply house in Philadelphia. This kicked off a period of acquisitions, with Sid Harvey expanding throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and in the 1970s, into the Midwest. The energy crisis of the 1970s helped push Sid Harvey further away from oil and more solidly into the HVAC repair industry. By 1988, Sid Harvey had expanded into the South and toward the Rocky Mountains, owning 100 branches and topping $100 million in sales.
Today, Sid Harvey Industries continues to make and sell parts and equipment for the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries, and exports them worldwide. The company recently moved its headquarters to South Carolina, where it is run by President and CEO Sid Harvey, grandson of the company’s founder.
Asbestos Exposure Risk at Sid Harvey Industries
Starting in the late 1800s, various industries discovered a naturally occurring mineral fiber that could be used for numerous purposes in their products. The mineral was strong, versatile, durable and resistant to heat and fire. And, because it was found in large, easily-tapped mineral deposits in nature, it was also inexpensive. The mineral was asbestos, and soon it had found its way into countless products, ranging from insulation to mechanical parts to lawn furniture.
But after a few decades, workers who worked closely with the mineral began to come down with respiratory illnesses; by the 1970s, the public was becoming aware of the health risks associated with the substance. Today, we know that breathing airborne asbestos fibers can lead to a terminal cancer known as mesothelioma. Most companies – some of whom had known about the hazards of asbestos for years, and had done nothing to protect their workers – eventually stopped using the substance in their products, but by then, untold damage had been done.
One of the companies that used asbestos was Sid Harvey Industries. The company is believed to have included the mineral fibers in several of their products used to service equipment that were sold to the oil heating industry. Products made by Sid Harvey Industries that are believed to have contained asbestos include (but are not limited to):
- Furnace cement
- Refractory cement
- Dry insulation cement
- Rope packing
Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
No amount of asbestos exposure is safe, and unfortunately, anyone who worked with or near asbestos-containing products could be at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma cancer and asbestosis. At Sid Harvey Industries, that could be anyone who worked in one of the company’s dozens of plants throughout the United States from its founding until at least the late 1970s.
Furthermore, anyone who worked at a company that utilized Sid Harvey’s asbestos-containing products could have had their health compromised. This could include servicemen, furnace technicians and others who worked at oil heating companies that used Sid Harvey’s products. When asbestos products, such as cements and asbestos rope packing materials, grow old, they become brittle and can release deadly asbestos dust into the air. When these fibers are inhaled, they can become embedded in a person’s lung tissue and cause serious health problems. This is especially true in poorly ventilated areas.
It can decades before the effects of asbestos exposure begin to present themselves in the human body. If you think you or someone you know may be at risk, it would be prudent to take the time to learn more about the risk factors of asbestos exposure and symptoms of mesothelioma today.
As of March 2011, Sid Harvey Industries had been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits by oil company workers and other who say they were exposed to deadly asbestos dust by the company’s products.Sources
“Sid Harvey’s Company History”
“Sid Harvey Makes Timely Move into E-Commerce”