I applaud Mrs. Mc Clain for her tenacity in not buckling under the pressure from the biotech giant Pfizer.
Too many biotech employees illnesses and injuries are ignored in the biotech industry arena, not only in the medical sector but the agriculture sector as well. The reason? IF the injuries and illnesses, arising out of workplace exposure's to known and unknown viruses, bacteria and fungi were reported (as is mandated by law) there would be federal and state investigations into the lack of health and safety in the workplace, which in turn would hinder biotech companies from getting their "products" registered with the FDA and the EPA. It's sad to say, but getting "products" on the market far outweigh the health and safety of the employee/s.
As for OSHA? OSHA is not up to speed when it comes to new technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology etc. I have discovered that more times than not that when OSHA is contacted regarding a health and safety complaint; OSHA either ignores the complaint, puts it on the back burner or they contact the company by phone or in a letter; thus allowing the unsafe employer to 1) hide and/or cover-up the health and safety violation; 2) reply to OSHA that the complaint was filed by a "disgruntled employee or ex-employee". What ever happened to on-the-spot surprise inspections when OSHA has received a health and safety violation complaint? These seem to be non-existent.
As for OSHA's "inspectors" not being medical doctors? I can only speak for OSHA in California. Dr Larry Rose who was with Cal/OSHA for 28 years and the "last" Cal/OSHA Public Health Medical Officer in the state of California was asked the question in a 2008 interview, "Now why would you need a Doctor at Cal/OSHA?". Dr. Rose's reply was, "Well it's critical… the Compliance Officers, or Industrial Hygienists, and they're not trained at all in medicine. They don't know how to read a medical record, they know nothing about infectious diseases.
The biotech industry needs to be held accountable for the harm they have been and still are causing. Their "trade secrets", "proprietary information agreements" as well as the contract/s "won't say anything bad about the company" that the biotech employee has to sign should be unlawful.
Every employee who works in ANY industry in the United States should have the guarantee they have a safe and healthy workplace environment. They should also have the right to know what made them ill or injured them with no exceptions. American workers should not be "thrown under the bus" because of concealment, fraud, corruption and/or collusion.
I hope Mrs. Mc Clain's case against Pfizer will bring attention to the biotech employee's plight.
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