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Workplace safety presentation at Conference
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 Posted: Fri Nov 17th, 2006 06:02 pm
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Maria
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Karen Long, President of Amethyst Envioronmental  in Lee, NH, a consulting firm specializing in environmental health and safety services, will be making a presentation at the Conference.     She has particular expertise in lead safety in the stained glass workplace, and also completes OSHA compliance audits.   She has asked us to give her a list of topics in which we are particularly interested.     Please post your suggestions here. 



 Posted: Sat Nov 18th, 2006 05:14 pm
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Kathy
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Points of entry:  inhalation, ingestion, absorption through skin?

Ventilation

Solder Fumes

Respirators/fit testing

These would interest me as a business owner.

Kathy J.



 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2006 01:05 am
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bkessler
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In 1994 we were concerned with lead migration from our studio to our domicile (our studio is built up against our home), and so we asked NIOSH to do a lead abatement study.  At the time they took lead fume readings and dust samples throughout our work area and residence.  We had a primitive source-point venting system which sucked out all solder fumes, wore latex gloves whenever building windows, and wore dust masks in a dedicated "mud room."  NIOSH took blood samples as well as air & dirt samples outside the studio. 

NIOSH said that our preventative measures were very effective and little if any lead was "escaping" into the environment.  The lead levels in our blood were very low and average for our age/location.  We were told that the area most saturated with lead dust was in the mud room where we used whiting to clean up putty residue.  NIOSH speculated that the abrasion of the putty brush against the lead came was the source of the lead contamination and suggested that we wear a high-quality dust mask, gloves, jump suits, hair nets and booties (It looks goofy, but it does keep you and your clothes cleaner!).

They also suggested high-tack mats at the two entry points.  These mats collect debris off the bottoms of your shoes.  We were most surprised by our venting system getting such high marks from NIOSH.  We had been considering purchasing a very expensive industrial source-point venting system, complete with articulating arms and hoods.  Our existing system was surprisingly effective, with no detectable amounts of lead exiting the building.  I am so used to not smelling solder fumes, that I can always tell when someone is not using the venting properly and I smell that familiar acidic smell!

At least for a small studio like ours, these simple precautions have served us very well, for very little cost.

I don't know if the study is accessible on the Internet, but the report number is HETA 92-0029-2392.  It is obviously dated, but might be on some help for others.

Bob Kessler / Kessler Studios, Inc.

 



 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2006 01:54 am
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Adam
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I would be interested in the control of lead on the job site, Like tenting off the scaffolding and testing before during and after the work is complete. And what do you test for? lead obviously, but do you also run tests for asbestos and other heavy metals?

 I would also like to know about safety in the painting studio. For example keeping the work area clean. And the requirements for safety when using substances like acids for etching. What are the accepted safety procedures for using acids? How much do you need to vent, gloves or no gloves, what kind of gloves, face mask or goggles, jumpsuits or are aprons okay? footwear? Disposal of acids. Does the local hospital have to be aware of your use of the acid? If safety procedures that are excepted by Osha are set in place for the safe use of acids for glass etching, what are they?

There are a lot of other chemicals that are used in our line of work. What should we be keeping track of, besides lead exposure? Someone at last years agg conf. mentioned that we should be getting tested for how much lead we have stored in our bodies. They said the blood test only detects whats circulating in the blood stream from recent exposure.  I've heard that there can be adverse reactions to too much zinc exposure, and what about substances that burn off in kilns? Are there specific venting requirements that we need to look out for?

 A basic rundown for scaffold safety and ladder safety would be good as well. I'm sure I could think of  a few more things and if I do, I'll post them. I know that some may think that some of the questions I've put forth may seem simple to those with extensive experience. I think these situations would be of interest to people new to the stained glass field , I think, they would also  be of interest to Freshman studios, and people that are working for the first time in  a public environment, like a church or commercial job site.

I think a presentation on different aspects of safety would be a good thing to have a part of every agg conference.

Adam Frazee



 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2006 04:35 pm
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Krueger
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Hello Adam,  The numerous situations you mention are probably faced by many studios every day.  I would hope a bigger studio would have an "open house" and invite smaller studios to come and see how they handle acid,  abrasive etching, and the other scaffolding issues.  In fact, perhaps there could be a mentoring program set up.  As you are based in Canada, I would imagine Canada and the US may have different requirements on some of the situations.

 

Barbara Krueger,  Michigan



 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2006 06:22 pm
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Adam
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Yes, I'm sure some safety standards are different between The U.S. and other countries. From what I've read, Osha standards seem to be pretty thorough and Usually what becomes standard in the U.s., its only a matter of time before Canada follows suit. I can honestly say that I am not thoroughly well versed in what Canadian requirements are for workplace safety. I have become aware though that fines for employees exist up here. In other words, If I am caught working on a scaffolding with out a fall resist harness on and a hard hat, I can personally be fined 300 dollars out of my own pocket, on top of the fine that they would issue my employer. And I don't like to be out 300 dollars. Now that may seem like a low costing fine for some, but , If you get caught smoking in a company vehicle its a 10,000 dollar personal fine and 150,000 dollar fine to the company. And thats only law here in Ontario. I'm not a hundred percent sure on those exact smoking numbers, but I do remember that the company fine was in the six figure range and 150,000 seems to ring a bell.

I think discussions on safety are a good thing to talk about. I think it can inspire people to pay better attention to details like that when working. I think the mentoring program could also be a really good possibility.


Thanks,

Adam Frazee



 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 06:42 pm
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dcs-ny
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Would be most interested in a discussion and recommendations about ventilation/exhaust system for small studios.  I recently wanted to install a simple and affordable  system that would handle the solder and kiln fumes as well as dust from whiting and general day to day that seems to be in my studio and found hardly any info available.  Most of what i found were in the woodworking dust collecting components.   Would find it beneficial to have an open discussion on this issue, what others have done,  as well as sourcing out suppliers who are or should be addressing this issue... Probably most small studios could put this together from components tha could be ordered -   We  recently researched and installed an  automatic 'eyewash' station at our studio.. just in case...  There's always the chance of getting caustic chemicals, dust, dirt, or glass shards in our eyes ( Most people  we find, don't wear safety glasses when they work). The first time it's needed we'll be glad we got it.  Something to consider - there are many from portable versions to plumber installed.  Many of these safety devices and equipment are out there to protect us and we should be aware of what our options are for our studios and staff.

D.Cultraro, NY

Last edited on Wed Dec 13th, 2006 06:51 pm by dcs-ny



 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 07:28 pm
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mmezalick
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A system that I made years ago and am in the process of making another in our new building is quite simple.

Using an in-line blower with 6” duct work as the main trunkline, I have over each table a drop tube with a separate shut off / slide gate.

The duct work can configure to any shape of workspace.

 We get our supplies from Grainger Co.  http://www.grainger.com

 Michael Mezalick



 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 10:04 pm
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Vic
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I have Honeywll HEPA air cleaners on all the work benches, You can usually get them on EBAY at a good price.



 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 03:29 pm
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Glass Flagg
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When you say "6 Inch Duct"  are you talking about 6 inch tube or rectangular.   I have a squirrel cage blower that I had thought of setting up a flexible hose system.   I like the idea of having the openings at each table.   I was also thinging of having one opening that would be at the pitch of the room to draw hot air out in the summer.



 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 03:33 pm
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Glass Flagg
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Does anyone know the particle size of Lead fumes and solder fumes?   I think that is important when choosing the filter.



 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 04:53 pm
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mmezalick
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Round is much better.

Don't forget, if you are in business for any lenght of time doing the same stuff, you will need to clean out the ductwork at some point.

Round is much easier.

Also , have a off/on switch at each table. That way the blower won't be on all day.

Michael



 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 10:01 pm
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Vic
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Glass Flagg wrote: Does anyone know the particle size of Lead fumes and solder fumes?   I think that is important when choosing the filter.
Lead starts fuming at 1000 degrees. That well above our soldering range



 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2006 02:26 am
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bkessler
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Our system uses 4" flexible dryer hose attached to squirrel fans which exhaust out windows.  It doesn't look pretty, but it works well.  The ends of the tubes have flat cardboard pieces about !0" x 10" with a hole cut for the duct hose.  This flat piece is placed near the soldering and directs fumes into the piping.  The overall ductwork is about 12- 15' in length.  The flexible hose is hung from the ceiling and drops to the tables.  There is enough excess that it can be placed anywhere on the tables as needed.

As I mentioned earlier, we had NIOSH study our lead abatement procedures, so the following is their conclusion:  We had no detectable amounts of lead fumes exiting our studio.  The reason for this seems to be a combination of using a paste flux with our soldering and the corrugated ductwork.  NIOSH speculated that the paste flux vaporizes during soldering and re-congeals on the way through the dryer hose.  The residue is sticky and  binds up the lead particles that were also vaporized.  The corrugated nature of the dryer hose is important in that the resulting turbulent air has more opportunity to find the sticky flux residue.

With the system we use, no HEPA filter is needed.  The inside of the dryer hose if visibly yucky(!) and is replaced as needed, but can last for years.


 



 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2006 12:13 pm
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Kathy
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I was wondering if pictures could be taken of the different ventilation set-ups that have been described?

 

Kathy



 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2006 05:29 pm
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mmezalick
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Kathy,

I should have ours set up bythe end of January. I could post pics than if you want.

Michael



 Posted: Sat Dec 16th, 2006 09:22 pm
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Kathy
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I appreciate that.   Happy Holidays

Kathy J.



 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2006 10:53 am
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Glass Flagg
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If the fuming point of lead is 1000 degrees.   Why is there talk of venting for lead fumes?   Also, I know I was taught to wash my hand well after working with lead, should we wear gloves?   Does lead absorb through the skin?

Thanks,

Tim



 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2006 12:41 pm
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bkessler
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I don't know for sure if lead is present in the fumes resulting from the soldering process, but the flux certainly vaporizes and has some nasty by-products which can be (at least) an irritant.  Venting eliminates the throat burning feeling one gets when soldering.  It certainly is better to vent, even if lead is not the primary concern.

My understanding is that lead is not absorbed directly through the skin into the bloodstream.  The most direct route would be through touching food with contaminated hands, and then fumes.  Apparently the puttying process may also be a hazard because the abrasion on the lead came may transfer particles of lead into the whiting, which is then inhaled when cleaning a panel.

When building and soldering a window, we wear latex gloves and use a ventilation system.  When puttying, we use gloves, a mask, and ventilation.  We also have a washing station in the studio with an industrial soap that specifically removes lead.  After the gloves come off, the hands get washed.

If you want to really be careful, you should have clothes that are worn just for lead work.  Don't go home after building a window and wrestle with Junior in the same clothes.  Wear a work apron and change into street clothes before you go home.



 



 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2006 04:59 pm
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Maria
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Lead does not absorb through the skin unless you have open cuts.   The most common way we get lead in our bodies is through inhalation and ingestion.   Everyone who works with lead should get a blood test to check for lead level.  That will give you the answer if you need to make changes to how you do things.   If your lead level is good (Ideally under 10), then congratulations on using proper hygiene and lead safety measures.   If it is over 20, then you have a problem, and you need to seriously evaluate how the lead is entering your body.    Lead dust is the most common way, so no dry sweeping of floors or tables.  Use HEPA vacuums for clean up and wet mops.  This should be done daily to keep the work environment as clean and dust-free as possible.    The process of taking apart an old panel (for releading) can stir up a lot of dust if not done properly (unless there is an issue of unstable paint, keeping the panel wet during dismantling is a good way to minimize the dust).    There is most often lead in the putty used to hold in old windows, so chipping away the putty is another common way that one breathes lead dust.   Proper masks/respirators should be employed for this process.   If you use a respirator, you need to have a "fit test" and have a written manual on safe use of respirators.   Whenever you get lead or lead dust on your hands (you can't always "see" it), then you are bringing the lead to your keyboard, telephone, door knob, cellphone, etc.    I tell our employees to "follow the trail" the lead can follow and your eyes will open.   If you work with lead, and you wash your hands before entering the lunch room to eat, but you don't wash up to your elbows, you then transfer lead from your forearms to the edge of the lunch table.   In our studio, we wear long sleeve, knee-length smocks which must be removed before entering the lunchroom.   We have sticky floor mats between "clean" areas such as the lunch room and office and the "dirty" work areas, so lead dust isn't tracked in on shoes.    These suggestions are far from comprehensive.  I strongly suggest that everyone who is not well versed in lead-safety, attend the workplace safety presentation at the AGG conference by Karen Long.  She also provides private consulation.  http://www.amethystenvironmental.com/

 



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