IN REPLY REFER TO:4700 Ser 106/1415
From: Director, Occupational Safety and Health Office (Code 106)
To: Group Superintendent, Public Works (Code 450)
1. There have been numerous employee complaints during the past year about fumes from vehicle exhaust in Building 455 permeating the air in Shop Store 08. Several actions have been taken including a ventilation fan and sealing around doors in an effort to correct the problem. However, the employee complaints and concerns continue.
2. Recently, Mr. Biegal (Code 420) and I inspected the area to see what had been done and to discuss the problem with the Shop Store Supervisor. One of the observations by the Shop Store occupants was that the fumes seem particularly bad when engines are operated in the forklift repair area,
3. Inspection of the forklift repair area found it full of equipment, none of which had the exhausts connected to the ventilation system installed for that purpose. None of the equipment was operating when we entered; but shortly thereafter, a mechanic started the truck he was repairing. We asked him where the exhaust was - he showed us. It was approximately 3 feet from the floor access to the ventilation duct but was not connected. While we were there, ha started the unit 2 or 3 times. When asked if he knew about the requirement for ventilating the exhaust he said, "yes, but it don't work so we don't use lt." A check of the ventilation controls did not indicate that the under floor system was tagged "out of service". Furthermore, the system on the cast wall of the shop was operating and could have been used by installing an extra length of hose.
4. The supervisor was not 1mmedlately available to talk to, but it was obvious that shop personnel were not using the installed systems to ventilate engine exhausts out-of-doors as standard shop procedure. Also, there was no evidence that management or supervision was enforcing use of the ventilation system.
5. It seems obvious that the best way to solve the problem of engine exhaust fumes in the Shop Store is by eliminating the source. To this end, it is requested that immediate action be taken to enforce utilization of the engine exhaust ventilation systems installed in the fork truck repair area. If the floor system needs repair, it should have priority consideration. In the interim, the system on the east wall can be used by connecting 2 or more lengths of hose. It is further requested that other vehicle repair areas be inspected and monitored by Public Works management to ensure similar systems are operational and being used.
R. A. Kieffer
Copy to:
106, 106.2, 106.02, 400, 420