Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Cutting fiberglass (railroad gate)


Are their any specific OSHA regulations for PPE when cutting fiberglass.  If so, can you site the regulation number.  thanx

Subject: Cutting fiberglass (railroad gate)

Question: Hello, are there any specific OSHA regulations for PPE when cutting fiberglass.  If so, can you cite the regulation number.  Thanks

Answer: Vincent, I see by your location listing you are concerned about situations in California. This makes a very large difference as California has made the choice to have their own safety and health program instead of leaving the matter to the federal government. Under the federal plan the making and enforcing of rules is covered under OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and in California it is CalOsha (listed as different spellings, i.e. Cal-Osha, CAL - OSHA, Cal OSHA etc.) Having worked for a company with several plants in California I can say that the rules in California are slightly different than under the federal OSHA program and are usually more strict than the federal rules. I do not keep current with the California regulations now that I am retired but can tell you that they are the best source of what specifically the requirements are for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with fiberglass. The employees of Cal OSHA are in my experience are usually most happy to assist in determining which specific regulations apply. (Be prepared with much more information than included in your request to me to include the type of fiberglass cut, the specific type of cutting tool, type of ventilation at the work site, any dust collection system used, the frequency and duration of the operation, etc. and if possible a photo of the area in which the operation takes place. Granted these are the same people that can cite and fine employers but they would much prefer to assist through "voluntary"
compliance and have helped me a number of times over the years.) Cal OSHA offices can be located by the following:

..... http://www.dir.ca.gov/asp/doshzipsearch.html (search for the nearest office based on your zip code)

..... http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/districtoffices.htm (for a listing of all offices)

If you would prefer to find the specific regulations that apply you could go to:

..... http://www.dir.ca.gov/samples/search/query.htmCal/OSHA - Title 8 regulations - Table of Contents (a listing of the "OSHA" codes adopted by California.) (And in my opinion just as hard to use.)

Based on my personal experience (and exposure to various regulations) the minimum PPE recommended for cutting operations involving fiberglass on a less than full-time basis would be long-sleeve shirts (to eliminate skin contact, suitable eye protection (goggles), a suitable respirator (type depends on level/duration of exposure) local ventilation - dust collection if possible and a face shield (again skin exposure but does not meet the levels necessary for eye and breathing protection). However, be prepared for more ridged requirements based on the exposure and California requirements.

Again I emphasize the involvement of the compliance people (does not include inviting them to the work site) to help determine the appropriate safeguards. They are the individuals that can cite and are charged with enforcing the rules but they also can be of great assistance if asked. I hope this provides enough information to assist in solving your problem. If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to ask.

Michael Brown, CSP Retired

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Mike Brown CSP Retired


I specialize in the professional management of occupational safety and health as well as workers` compensation to reduce losses and improve production and address related issues through a comprehensive approach by senior management using proven principals.I worked for over twenty (20) years in the management of occupational safety, health and workers` compensation and safety training (Retired from employment in 1996 due to a stroke, which prevented the extensive travel required).

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