Many Porn Shops with Viewing Booths Likely Fall Short of OSHA Standards

NPN has been corresponding with a former employee of a porn shop with viewing booths. Considering that semen is routinely found on viewing booth surfaces, this person suspected and confirmed that the porn shop was not in full compliance with OSHA regulations on working with bodily fluids. Responding to a recent inquiry, OSHA wrote:

Your employer has to provide a safe and healthful workplace according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard [link added] covers employees exposed to bodily fluids including blood and semen. Some of the sections of this standard require the employer to develop a written exposure control plan, offer exposed employees the hepatitis B vaccination series, provide personal protective equipment (gloves, etc.) and provide training to employees.

You can make an anonymous complaint to a federal OSHA office [link added]…

In 2006, compliance appears to have been an issue at Capital Video’s porn shop in Kittery, Maine. This porn shop contains 16 viewing booths. We recall last year’s testimony from Kittery’s police chief (emphasis added):

On January 30, two detectives went inside dressed in plain clothes and equipped with the ultraviolet light, as well as collection material. They entered booths, closed the doors, turned on the ultraviolet light and observed what appeared to be tremendous amounts of body fluids on all three walls and on the floor. The next night, the detectives followed the same procedure. Samples were sent to the Main Street Lab and on February 13, 2006, he received the results confirming that all swabbings taken in the four booths contained semen. The Chief said their informant told them that on numerous occasions he had tried to clean but had not been given any information on how to wash the areas properly. Police Chief Strong said he believed the collection of material they made, along with the lab results, showed beyond a reasonable doubt that there were body fluids being exchanged or deposited that other people were exposed to and asked Council if they had any questions.

OSHA regulations offer another tool for employees and other concerned parties to address unhealthy conditions at porn shops with viewing booths.

See also:

2004: Cal/OSHA issues citations to adult film companies for failing to protect employees from health hazards
SAN FRANCISCO – Cal/OSHA, the state’s occupational safety and health program, yesterday issued its first-ever citations to employers in the adult film industry. Two employers, Evasive Angles and TTB Productions, each received citations totaling $30,560 for violations of health and safety regulations related to the exposure of three employees to HIV.

“Employers in the adult film industry must know how to protect their employees from health and safety hazards and understand the consequences of failing to comply with state regulations,” said Vicky Heza, Cal/OSHA’s deputy chief of enforcement.

Both companies are based in Van Nuys and both company names appear on the credits for the motion picture production during which some employees contracted HIV. It’s unclear at this point which company employed the workers who were exposed.

Evasive Angles and TTB Productions received citations for failing to comply with the state’s bloodborne pathogen standard, failing to report a serious work related illness to Cal/OSHA, and for failing to prepare and follow a written safety and health program, known as an injury and illness prevention program. The citations for failing to comply with the bloodborne pathogens standard and failing to report a serious illness carried the maximum penalties–$25,000 and $5,000 respectively.

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