Non-ventilated Classrooms

From the ISGB Safety forum:

 I recently started teaching Lampwork 1 for beginners at an art center. We’ve got 6 hotheads going & lots of room to spread out. I’ve previously taught at LBSs w/ the owner usually hanging around for advice. Here I’m on my own.

The room is a jewelry studio that is pretty much uninsulated & hasn’t been used over the weekend when we come in on MON nights. The staff is now turning on some heat in the afternoon. However, the room is still very chilly for people & supplies. We have to wear layers of clothing that can get bulky. The window AC unit is covered over for the winter.

I had expected to be able to use a room fan to create some ventilation. But when it is 10F degrees right outside the door, it makes for a freezing situation. The students near the door are chilled fast as well as the metal folding chairs. The door on the other side opens to a ceramics storage area w/ plenty of clay dust. ACK! Last time I left the exterior door open a few inches & opened the ceramics door all the way.

I’d be very interested to hear suggestions about how to improve this situation. Thanks!

My very first suggestion is that the art center spend some money and install proper ventilation in the studio area if they intend to allow torch working instruction to be taking place in this room.

 Look — you the teacher and the art center itself bear full responsibility in this. You SHOULD NOT be teaching in a facility that does not have proper ventilation. You are placing your students at some risk for respiratory problems. What will happen if one of your students has functionally impaired respiration and has problems during the class? You the teacher will be responsible as will the facility.

There is plenty of information available on the internet, both on the glassworking forums and here on this blog about ventilation. It is not rocket science! But you need to understand that you are doing your students a grave disservice by giving them instruction in a facility that is inadequately ventilated.

From your statement that you just started teaching at this facility, didn’t you first walk through the space and check it out? The very first thing on your checklist should have been proper ventilation! And if ventilation is sorely lacking, it makes me wonder about the other issues such as first aid, fire extinguishers etc. The desire to teach others your art should not overcome the safety issues at play here. Safety first, last and always.

If the facility does not meet the standards for ventilation and safety in general, it is your responsibility as a teacher to tell the facility management that they need to bring the facility up to the standards or you cannot teach there. Do not put your health and the health of others at risk for the sake of money or the desire to teach regardless of conditions. If more teachers will take a stand for safety, then there will be more facilities that will spend the money to protect their students.


2 thoughts on “Non-ventilated Classrooms

  1. You spoke above about”plenty of places on the internet to find this information” on ventilation.
    I am designing a lapidary / glass working lab for a club here in PA, I have been searching the internet for ideas on exhaust hoods for such a project, for over 6 months, all I can find are kitchen hoods which are not suitable. Most of the contractors (HVAC) in the area don’t have a clue and want to install a multi $10,000 huricane generator that will tripple our heating and airconditioning bill! Before making such broad comments do a little research, HVAC contractors that have a clue about our hobbies are few and far between! I believe that information on classroom ventilation on the internet is either wrong, misleading, or nonexistant! How about a little more content and less “grand statements”!

  2. Don, the rest of the quote is “both on the glassworking forums and here on this blog about ventilation”.

    Visit LE, ISGB, and a few other glassworking forums, do a search on “ventilation” and you will see HUNDREDS of articles on ventilation.

    I’ve been doing ventilation work for glassworkers for over 4 years now, and believe me when I tell you that I have done my research.

    Apparently you have not yet read ANY of the glassworking forum content much less the content of this blog and are basing your statements on insufficient information.

    Start here:

    Then click on the Ventilation categoy selection above and to the right to get you started.

    I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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