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Procter & Gamble Accused of Unsafe Working Environment

An employee checks machines at a P&G factory in Bucharest last month. Aga Luczakowska

Gennady Onishchenko, chief of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, has accused Procter & Gamble of providing unsafe working conditions.

Onishchenko said 51 percent of the company’s employees in Moscow worked in harmful conditions, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday. The number includes 25 percent of all female employees at the company, or 141 women, Onishchenko said late Monday.

P&G said it complied with Russian sanitary and safety standards.

Onishchenko pointed out that employees at the company’s plants in Novomoskovsk in the Tula region often take long sick leave. “Every worker, you see, was sick for nine days,” he said, apparently referring to a period of time this year that he didn’t specify. He said the rate was 11 percent higher than last year.

He said the breeches of safety rules included a noise level in the first half of the year that was 6 percent higher than allowed. He also accused the firm of providing substandard lighting and poor cleaning practices at working premises.

At a Procter & Gamble facility in Dzerzhinsk in the Nizhny Novgorod region, 23 percent of staffers did not undergo medical checks, he said, adding that the company has similar violations at its plant in St. Petersburg.

P&G spokeswoman Yulia Mayorova said the Federal Consumer Protection Service or other agencies conducted no inspections of the company this year. “We are somewhat surprised by this statement,” she said by e-mail. “We are sure that all the company’s plants and offices comply” with state rules.

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