Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 22:18:18 -0500
Reply-To: "Schmidt-Nebril, Kathleen" <kschmidtnebril**At_Symbol_Here**DOM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Schmidt-Nebril, Kathleen" <kschmidtnebril**At_Symbol_Here**DOM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor
Comments: To: Chrismarlowe

Currently I am the Dominican University CHO and am looking for comments, 
advice and/or resources to address the a situation I found myself in 
today.  Our Physical Plant had hired an abatement contractor to clear 
our an old science building lab that had a known asbestos and Hg 
problem.  When I arrived on the scene to pick up another item this 
contractor had their crew of 5-7 non English speaking workers tearing 
out cabinets, counters etc in the contaminated room with absolutely no 
ventilation and only 2 workers wearing respirators for Hg toxic vapors?  
The room itself was sealed in plastic and about 80F so I just knew the 
Hg vapor reading would be sky high.  They had the room sealed because 
they had to keep the asbetos dust in? The company had an available 
Luminox instrument to detect air conc. of Hg and I insisted they stop 
work and check the room.  Of course the reading was off the chart with 
the unit min allowed Hg conc being 1000( not sure of the unit) we read 
at 45000!  I made quite a fuss to the vendor about their worker's safety 
and insisted the room be ventilated and work stop until levels were 
within allowable range. At the same time other contracted vendors were 
showing up to do work in the room and I recommended they wait for safe 
levels. These were not vendors I had contracted but I definitely could 
tell they had a total disregard for their own crews safety and safety in 
general.  How liable are we for contracted vendors safety?  Can we be 
held responsible for their workers becoming ill from exposure since they 
are not our employees?  I was hoping someone out there can help me 
establish a strong case for safety to my employer with any website 
references or info you may have in these situations.

Thank You
Kathleen Schmidt-Nebril

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List on behalf of Chrismarlowe
Sent: Sat 3/7/2009 7:58 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Amorphous silicone dioxide silica

WRT: "what do I say next time he wants to order in bulk!?"

Tell him, "Yes. The institution supports purchase in bulk as long as:

- The department will really use that much chemical long before it goes 

- The department has the physical and procedural ability to manage the
material and its hazards." 

Stay healthy,
Chris Marlowe
42 Highlander Dr
Scotch Plains, NJ  07076
908 / 754 - 5160 (home)
732 / 539 - 8128 (cell)

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.