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Cal/OSHA Fines Prominent Pharmaceutical Firm $371,000 for Safety Violations Leading to Worker Fatality
Date:7/21/2011

said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. "When confined space operations are not properly planned, it is unfortunately common for other employees to be injured or killed while attempting impromptu rescue of the initial victim."

Cal/OSHA determined that Baxter's confined space program failed to comply with all requirements, including appropriate atmospheric testing, protective equipment as well as rescue equipment and procedures.

Baxter Bioscience is a multi-national pharmaceutical company with a Los Angeles plant located in Atwater Village. The facility is the largest of its kind in the nation, utilizing advanced technology to produce plasma proteins.

The citations Cal/OSHA issued this week included one classified as general and ten classified as serious, four of which were classified as willful. Willful classifications are issued when an employer either commits an intentional violation and is aware that it violates a safety law, or when an employer is aware that an unsafe or hazardous condition exists and makes no reasonable effort to eliminate the hazard.

Employers who want to learn more about Cal/OSHA and how to reduce workplace injuries can get information at the DIR Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dosh. For assistance from the Cal/OSHA Consultation Program, employers can call (800) 963-9424.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints can call the California Workers' Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757.

CONTACT:
Erika Monterroza
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


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SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA
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