OSHA finds VA at fault for Calif. researcher death

Posted at: 02/20/2013 2:08 PM
By PAUL ELIAS

(AP) SAN FRANCISCO - Federal officials are blaming unsafe working conditions for the death of a San Francisco Veterans Affairs medical center researcher who died after he handled a rare strain of bacteria

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday issued a notice of "serious violations" to the medical center for the death last year of 25-year-old Richard Din.

OSHA says the VA failed to properly supervise and protect Din while he was developing a vaccine for the particular strain of meningitis that killed him.

In particular, OSHA says Din was working in an open area outside of a so-called biosafety cabinet. Those cabinets are enclosed, ventilated areas most researchers use when working with dangerous germs.

OSHA ordered the VA to comply with its safety regulations. OSHA can’t fine other federal agencies.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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