I do not believe that this statement is correct. This is totally dependent on the amount of authority that you exercise over the contractor's employees. If hire a contractor for a specific job spelled out in the contract, and you do not give individual orders, or assign individual work, you have limited, if any, OSHA responsibility (caveat: state regulations could differ). You are not hiring someone, you are contracting a service. The big IF here is: If the contractor exposes your employees to hazards then you do have an OSHA obligation to your employees. Here are some things to consider for now and in the future: 1 - Get, and keep, your people away from this job. 2 - Shut the job down until the contractor agrees to operate in accordance with regulations 3 - Make a determination that the contractor is capable of doing the job 4 - In the future these two requirements should be written into any purchase orders or contract. 5 - Do not assume any direct responsibility in overseen the moment-to-moment work assignments for the job, or direct employee job assignments. Set standards of performance, and then write them into the contract, then step back and let the contractor do his job. Monitor the job to make sure that the contractor is fulfilling his agreed to performances, but do not direct his employees. 6 - Contact your attorney to determine what legal course of action, if any, that you may want to take against the contractor. Do not contact OSHA without your attorney's advice. You are under no obligations to contact OSHA. 7 - You are under an obligation to protect your people (see item #1). You are under no legal obligation to protect another employer's people, unless you assume those obligations (i.e. temporary employees hired from a temp agency) 8 - Always make sure that any contractors that you hire cover they employees with workers compensation insurance. 9 - Always make sure that any contractors that you hire have performance insurance, and environmental liability insurance (if required). 10 - Have a written contractor's procedure that spells out you requirements, and requires disclosure from them. 11 - I'm sure there are some other things, but these are the one that I can remember at this moment. Carl -----Original Message----- From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of Nunn, Nate Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 4:20 PM To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor Kathleen, Under the regulations any vendor working for you on this or other projects is considered to be your employee. You are responsible for making sure they are in compliance with all appropriate regulations. If you knowingly allow work to continue in violation of safety or health standards your employer, and in some cases you can be held liable in civil and where appropriate criminal court. If you know they are violating government regulations you are required to take appropriate actions including if necessary shutting down their work. NATHAN J. NUNN EHS Director TestAmerica THE LEADER IN ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING Cell: 832.746.4976 Toll Free: 877.785.7233 -----Original Message----- From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of Dr. Jay A. Young Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 2:45 PM To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor Kathleen, Get a lawyer as quick as you can. Jay Young PS: It may already be too late. Get that attorney the day before yesterday. **************************************** ----- Original Message ----- From: "Schmidt-Nebril, Kathleen"
To: Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 11:18 PM Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor 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 Paul: 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 bad and - 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) Krismarlowe**At_Symbol_Here**Verizon.net CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail communication, including any attachments, may contain privileged or confidential information for specific individuals and is protected by law. If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited and you should delete this message and its attachments from your computer without retaining any copies. If you have received this communication in error, please reply to the sender immediately. We appreciate your cooperation. Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
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