Friday, February 27, 2009

Today The Pump Handle (a great blog for public health issues that I highly recommend) had an interesting entry on the Bayer CropSciences plant explosion in Institute WV last year and Bayer's reticence in providing information to local emercency responders during the event. I mention the article because I believe this is the same site that was previously owned by Rhone Poulenc and in 1993 had a very similar accident that killed one employee and hospitalized another.

From what I understand, Rhone Poulenc was just as reticent as Bayer and I have to wonder if the fact that both are foreign owned companies has something to do with this. I'm not trying to be protectionist or suggest that all foreign based companies are like this, and it is possible, or maybe even likely, that something else is going on, after all I'm not there to see first hand, but I have to wonder.


  1. Aren't businesses in general secretive, on account of wanting to minimize their legal exposure in the event of lawsuits?

  2. I wouldn't say most companies are secretive, guarded and cautious certainly, but not secretive. It's one thing not to volunteer information, but to intentionally withhold information that could be used to save lives is another.

    Very few companies I've inspected come up to me and say "Here are all the things I know are OSHA violations." In fact none have done it so far. On the other hand, when I ask for information or documentation, very few say no, and those that do have always produced that information once they receive the court order.

    The Bayer was different, Bayer went over the top.