Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Question Regarding Cutting Fiberglass

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Hi Mike,

I live in an apt and the owner is going to repair the fiberglass tub in my bathroom.  He has explained that they have to cut the fiberglass, pour concrete underneath and re-seal the tub.  My concern is cutting the fiberglass and the dust of it getting into the rest of my apartment.  My manager says they will conceal the bathroom area, but I sense the dust will travel.  I won't be there when they do the work, but my concern is returning to my apt. Your thoughts?

Thank you.

John

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Subject: Question Regarding Cutting Fiberglass

Question: Hi Mike, I live in an apt and the owner is going to repair the fiberglass tub in my bathroom.  He has explained that they have to cut the fiberglass, pour concrete underneath and re-seal the tub.  My concern is cutting the fiberglass and the dust of it getting into the rest of my apartment.  My manager says they will conceal the bathroom area, but I sense the dust will travel.  I won't be there when they do the work, but my concern is returning to my apt. Your thoughts? Thank you. John

Answer: John, I am not an Industrial Hygienist so my response is most likely not what they would state. My understanding is that many materials such as dust from working with fiberglass can cause problems IF the expose is to huge quantities and/or for long periods of time - and I don't see cutting a fiberglass tub as meeting either criteria . The workers doing the work will need to take basic precautions but I would not be concerned unless I made several trips to the work area during the time the actual cutting was being performed. Otherwise I would sit back and enjoy whatever is on the TV. At the most a good vacuuming might be in order after the work is complete but that would end my possible concern. I don't mean to sound flippant but there are far greater risks (like driving on a freeway especially the Sacramento I-5 and I-80 areas during rush hour) in life ever day. If I can be of further assistance please feel free to ask. (And you might run this same question by an industrial hygienist for a more professional response.)

Michael Brown, CSP Retired  

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Mike Brown CSP Retired

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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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