Sadly, what Dr. Elston says about a structured respiratory protection program would be true if 29 CFR 1910.134 applied to students. According to 29 CFR 1910.5, the General Industry Standards have no applicability in the described academic situation because students are not employees. I have not heard of any cases where the General Industry Standards were applied to students. Since absence of evidence does not prove absence; I would be interested in learning what standards schools have been held to. I suppose that a lawyer could argue that failure to follow OSHA standards is evidence that reasonable and prudent precautions for structuring a safety program were not taken...if a suit were filed after an accident. No school would worry about an OSHA inspection unless an employee were put at risk, and then, only if a complaint were filed. Could it be that kids are in this gray area because they tend to heal fast, or maybe because over-exposure symptoms tend to manifest after graduation? JSBonnell, Mgr., Env. Svc. Barr Laboratories, Inc.
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