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Region 2 News Release: 10-829-NEW/BOS 2010-247
Fri., June 18, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $357,000 in fines against
UCB Manufacturing for health hazards at Rochester, NY, pharmaceutical plant

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a total of $357,300 in fines against UCB Manufacturing Inc., for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace health and safety standards at its Rochester, N.Y., pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The citations chiefly concern the company's failure to address hazards for workers whose duties involve exposure to methylene chloride, a potential carcinogen.

OSHA's inspection found that some plant employees were exposed to excess levels of methylene chloride, and the company did not have effective controls and work practices to reduce those exposure levels. In addition, the company did not supply the workers with appropriate respirators, and failed to provide all required monitoring, medical surveillance and information about methylene chloride. These conditions resulted in the issuance of six willful citations, with $351,000 in proposed fines. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for worker safety and health.

"These sizable fines reflect the gravity of these hazards and the employer's knowledge of and failure to correct them," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York. "Employees exposed to methylene chloride are at increased risk of developing cancer, adverse effects on the heart, central nervous system and liver, and skin or eye irritation. Effective safeguards are vital to the health and well-being of the