Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 18:08:20 -0400
Reply-To: Carl Zipfel <czipfel**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Carl Zipfel <czipfel**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor
In-Reply-To: <639C557F2A5CBF4B8E109AA2C3B03E240C895350**At_Symbol_Here**>
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
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
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.


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] 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


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.

EHS Director
Cell: 832.746.4976
Toll Free: 877.785.7233
-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] 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


Get a lawyer as quick as you can.

Jay Young

PS: It may already be too late.  Get that attorney the day before
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Schmidt-Nebril, Kathleen" 
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
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
of 5-7 non English speaking workers tearing out cabinets, counters etc
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
They had the room sealed because they had to keep the asbetos dust in?
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
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
for safe levels. These were not vendors I had contracted but I
could tell they had a total disregard for their own crews safety and
in general.  How liable are we for contracted vendors safety?  Can we be

held responsible for their workers becoming ill from exposure since they
not our employees?  I was hoping someone out there can help me establish
strong case for safety to my employer with any website references or
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)

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