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KEYCODE BAYER #25

December 20, 2000

USA: OSHA HAS CITED BAYER CORPORATION IN BAYTOWN, TEXAS, FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS TOTALING $135,900

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bayer Corporation in Baytown, TX (USA), for safety and health violations, with penalties, totaling $135,900. The OSHA investigation began July 6, 2000 after a contract worker notified OSHA of a Methylenedianiline (MDA - a regulated carcinogen) spill and clean up, and the subsequent exposures. Bayer employs about 1,200 workers and contracts with about 1,300 workers. OSHA's inspection of the company resulted in three willful, three serious, and one other-than-serious violation.

The three willful violations were for failing to alert employees, who may have been exposed to MDA, of an emergency; failing to establish regulated areas, and failing to ensure that employees use appropriate protective work clothing and equipment. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The three serious violations were for failing to ensure that employees remove MDA contaminated work clothing and equipment; failing to place the MDA contaminated work clothes and equipment into closed containers, and failing to institute exposure monitoring. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. The other-than-serious violation was not recording an injury/illness on the log and summary no later than 6 days.
Bayer has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an information hearing with OSHA's Houston-North area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-150-12-20