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May 06, 2016

Cal-OSHA Reporter Details Cal/OSHA Claims Against Kink

SAN FRANCISCO—Today's issue of the daily Cal-OSHA Reporter newsletter reports details of the 13 "violations" which Cal/OSHA inspectors found during their inspection of Kink.com's headquarters at the former San Francisco Armory earlier this year. The two biggies (or "Willful-Serious" in Cal/OSHA-speak), of course, are "Employer failed to observe universal precautions to prevent employee exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials," and "Employer failed to require the use of engineering and work-practice controls to eliminate or minimize employee exposure." Cal/OSHA is looking for $70,000 for each of those. Kink responded to those charges here. However, the inspectors also dinged Kink (or rather, its parent corporation, Cybernet Entertainment) for a dazzling array of "general" defects, at least one of which is certainly due to the fact that the Armory, which had its 100th "birthday" four years ago, is an old building which Kink workers are continually trying to update. Some of the "lesser" citations, most of which carry a penalty of $600 each, include "First-aid kit materials were not in usable condition"; "Aisles did not maintain 24-inch corridors"; "Employer used a 'C' clamp to secure bench grinder"; "Portable fire extinguisher was not mounted"; and "Employer failed to ensure that flexible cords had strain relief." According to the Cal-OSHA Reporter story, "Cal/OSHA issued the willful citations to Cybernet because it says it was the second time in five years the Division allegedly found that the production company was failing to provide and require the use of condoms. The Appeals Board has previously upheld serious citations for the same violations." But as AVN reported on April 21, 2015, an attempted levy by Cal/OSHA of $77,000 for on-set violations was reduced to $27,000, thanks to the effective legal work by prominent attorney Karen Tynan. That loss suggests that the more recent Cal/OSHA inspection may have been prompted as much by the agency's anger at Kink for fighting the previous violations as by the complaints against Kink—all filed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, of course. It should also be noted that Kink's policy is one of "condom-option": If a performer wishes to use a condom during a scene, Kink is perfectly fine with that choice, and will willingly provide the condoms. Interestingly, after noting the Standards Board's failure to approve changes to Section 5193 of the California Health Code—the section under which the most serious charges against Kink fall—the author of the article noted, "The regs story does not end there, however: A special interest group called the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed another petition for a standard. It is practically identical to its previous petition. It is attempting to force the Standards Board to spend additional taxpayer funds to deal with this special interest issue again. The issue does not affect very many Californians." [Emphasis added] The article also mentions Cal/OSHA's raid on the worksite of director/actor James Deen, where the agency is seeking $78,000 in penalties, and notes, "The Deen investigation was contentious—the employer refused to provide Cal/OSHA with requested documents and forced DOSH to obtain a warrant to inspect the worksite." AVN is unaware of warrants having been issued for other raids on adult worksites.

 
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