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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 10, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 50
OSHA fines bareback porn studio for safety violations
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OSHA fines bareback porn studio for safety violations

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Cal/OHSA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for California - has fined a bareback porn studio $21,470 for workplace safety violations.

California Department of Industrial Relations spokesperson Krisann Chasarik told LA radio station XBIZ that investigation of Treasure Island Media began last November in response to complaints about working conditions at the porn studio.

A five-month investigation ensued and resulted in three citations being issued.

Each of the two most serious violations drew $9,000 fines.

According to Cal/OSHA's report, 'Treasure Island Media had failed to write or otherwise establish, implement and maintain an effective [STD] exposure control plan. ...Employees were exposed to semen and other potentially infectious materials, due to work activities during filming and set cleaning.'

The second serious citation said, Treasure Island Media does not observe universal precautions during the production of their films. They have not instituted engineering and work practices controls to eliminate or minimize contact with blood and semen, including, but not limited to, the use of barrier protection such as condoms.

Cal/OSHA's report also expressed concern that the studio did not communicate potential health hazards to its employees.

Cal/OSHA spokesperson Deborah Gold said her agency issued citations to the studio because their employees had unprotected sex as part of their work, not because some scenes may have involved HIV-positive actors.

"Anybody may be infected, therefore you have to treat everybody's blood and other potential infectious materials [such as semen] as though it can be infectious, Gold said.

Treasure Island Media recently signed HIV-positive actor James Roscoe and has been promoting scenes between Roscoe and other HIV-positive performers.

In October, two other studios temporarily halted production when one of their actors tested positive for HIV at an L.A. STD clinic. At that time, Cal/OSHA said it would consider requiring the use of condoms in porn films.

Treasure Island Media's general manager Matt Mason told XBIZ that his company has cooperated with the Cal/OSHA investigation and administrative process.

"We have appealed the citations and participated in the informal conference process and expect to take the matter to a hearing in 2011 with an administrative law judge," Mason said.

Previous complaints about unsafe labor practices in California's porn industry have targeted talent agencies that recruit porn actors without warning them about health risks associated with unprotected sex.

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