One employee has died and two have been injured after an incident at Baxter International’s manufacturing facility in Atwater, California last weekend.
The employees were overcome by ethanol fumes while cleaning a tank used to store blood for the manufacture of Baxter's range of plasma derived products including clotting factors, immunodeficiency drugs and burns treatments.
Baxter spokeswoman Deborah Spak told the Associated Press the company was saddened to hear that one of the employees had died and is waiting for further information on the others.
"Our primary focus is on assisting all of our workers and their families," she said. "We are investigating this morning's events, and are fully cooperating with Cal/OSHA and local authorities as the investigation is ongoing."
Spak told the LA times that the 269,000sqft plant, which employs a staff of around 1,100 people, “has received numerous awards for its commitment to environmental health and safety."
This was echoed by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Krisann Chasarik who told ABC the facility has a “generally has a good safety record, with only a single $185 fine for a minor violation in 2005.”