Pharma, biotech manufacturer cited in deaths
An Eatontown, New Jersey, manufacturer has been fined $13,653 for allegedly failing to protect employees adequately from workplace exposure to COVID-19 following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration into the deaths of two workers and the hospitalization of two others who contracted the coronavirus in the fall of 2020, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.
OSHA says an inspection revealed that Avantor Fluid Handling LLC failed to ensure physical distancing and that employees wore face masks in common areas, which led to citations that the company violated the general duty clause that requires employers to ensure workplaces are free of recognized hazards that may cause death or serious physical harm.
In November 2020, four company employees tested positive for the coronavirus and required hospitalization. By January 2021, two of the workers – a husband and wife – died due to complications related to the virus. The other workers recovered. In total, 30 out of 50 employees at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus, according to OSHA’s account.
OSHA initiated the workplace safety and health investigation after the company alerted OSHA of the workers’ illnesses.
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