Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 11:23:38 -0400
Reply-To: "Dr. Jay A. Young" <chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Dr. Jay A. Young" <chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON.NET>
Subject: Re: Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor
Comments: To: Carl Zipfel

To Carl and the others who are telling Kathleen what to do:

I recommend that you kind people be a bit more cautious.  Some of the advice 
that you are giving sure looks like legal advice to me.  It is not a good 
idea for a person who is not an attorney to give legal advice to another 

Jay Young
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Zipfel" 
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Mercury cleanup by a contracted vendor

>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
> 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**] 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.
> EHS Director
> TestAmerica
> 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
> 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**
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