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request to move desk/office denied

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auntthelma

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? CA
Hi, I don't know if I am posting this is the right place...and sorry if it's long-winded....
I asked my boss if I could move my desk to another room (there's lots of empty offices/rooms) b/c of several reasons; the room I am in now was built orginally as a storage room, so there is little to no venelation. In addition, it is next door to the laundry room and the smell of bleach is making me ill!
Those are my two biggest reasons. (other reasons being it's next to the lunch/break room and people are always coming and going--socializing and loud--to the point of me having to close my door to concentrate on work. But closing the door then means no air. And lastly, the shipping dept. is on the other side of the wall...and when they are unloading, they pound against the wall.
I have requested to my boss about moving me into a different location (giving these reasons)...but his boss says "he doesn't think its a good idea"...(his reason being I would be "out of the loop from production". (Although there are other options that would put me closer to the production dept....)
So now what? Any suggestions on how to make this happen?
Thanks in advance.
AT
 


Beth3

Senior Member
Sorry but you can't make your boss move you to a different location, although I sure understand why you're making that request. No laws compel your employer to move you to a different area because your present conditions are unpleasant.

Since your boss feels you'd be out of the loop on production if he relocates you, I suggest you put a plan together to demonstrate how you'd overcome that obstacle (whether it's real or perceived on his part) if you move into a different area. And if you don't mind a bit of personal advice, when you meet with him don't whine and don't get emotional. Make a business case as to why it's in the company's best interests to move you to an area that's quieter, where you won't be regularly interrupted, and how you'll be more productive if you aren't gasping for air or gagging from the smell of bleach.

Good luck.
 

greta_s.

Junior Member
"Beth" makes a valid point about not whining when you ask for the move, but as far as their being "...no laws compel your employer to move you to a different area because your present conditions are unpleasant," couldn't this be a case for OSHA?

If the smell of bleach isn't a factor, what about there being little to *no* ventilation in there? That's bound to bring on headaches of some kind.

I always believed OSHA had some say in the safety of the workplace as well as protecting the safety of the workers. Sure, they can't change the fact that the big boss is all comfy in his $300 Herman Miller Aeron chair and well-lit, breezy office, while you are cramped in a former storage space, but couldn't they provide some alternative answers with a simple phone call made off premises (so no big ears there get any ideas)?

If the building has space - i.e. an area that you could easily move to that have ventilation - wouldn't that be a better solution than making you stay in a place that endangers your health and has adverse affects on your productivity?

I am probably not 100% correct, but I am seeing more reasons here for your request than just wanting to move to a prettier place in the office.
 

Beth3

Senior Member
I seriously doubt that this is an OSHA related situation - not even under their general duty clause. Being exposed to an unpleasant odor or having to work in a stuffy room is just not a safety hazard.
 

BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
Beth3 said:
I seriously doubt that this is an OSHA related situation - not even under their general duty clause. Being exposed to an unpleasant odor or having to work in a stuffy room is just not a safety hazard.
You should talk with the people in my office after I eat my homemade chili :D
 

an_dee

Junior Member
OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) 1926.57

Check out OSHA.gov for details.
Hope this helps...

1926.57(f)(1)(vi)

"Clean air." Air of such purity that it will not cause harm or discomfort to an individual if it is inhaled for extended periods of time. :cool:
 

an_dee

Junior Member
OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) 1926.57

I don't think OSHA would define having to breath bleach fumes as merely an "unpleasant odor" or "uncomfortbable condition".
Check out OSHA.gov for details.
1926.57(f)(1)(vi)
"Clean air." Air of such purity that it will not cause harm or discomfort to an individual if it is inhaled for extended periods of time. :cool:
G'luck. Hope this helps...
 

Beth3

Senior Member
That depends entirely upon the concentration in the air. I'm not a chemist but I don't believe that bleach is a health hazard unless it's actually ingested.

Loads of toxic agents are permissible in airborne samples as long as they don't exceed the allowable levels of parts per million (or billion, depending upon the agent in question.) The chances are extremely high here that the smell while unpleasant does not pose any health risk.
 

Sockeye

Member
an_dee said:
I don't think OSHA would define having to breath bleach fumes as merely an "unpleasant odor" or "uncomfortbable condition".
Check out OSHA.gov for details.
1926.57(f)(1)(vi)
"Clean air." Air of such purity that it will not cause harm or discomfort to an individual if it is inhaled for extended periods of time. :cool:
G'luck. Hope this helps...
Go take a whiff of a fish processing plant in Naknek, AK. or a beef rendering plant in Greely, CO. If OSHA is so concerned about smell they have a lot of work to catch up on before getting to that laundry bleach scent in the posters office.
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
Sockeye said:
Go take a whiff of a fish processing plant in Naknek, AK. or a beef rendering plant in Greely, CO. If OSHA is so concerned about smell they have a lot of work to catch up on before getting to that laundry bleach scent in the posters office.

My response:

. . . and the toilets down the hall from my offices. On a nice, hot, Summer day they smell like sh!t.

IAAL
 

grasmicc

Member
"That depends entirely upon the concentration in the air. I'm not a chemist but I don't believe that bleach is a health hazard unless it's actually ingested."

I agree it depends on concentration whether it is a safety concern. I think it goes without saying, however, that even a minimal vapor exposure can cause discomfort and thus violate OSHA regulations.

Information on bleach toxicology is provided below:

http://www.toxicology.mc.vanderbilt.edu/Outreach/Poison/BLEACH.html
 

Sockeye

Member
I AM ALWAYS LIABLE said:
My response:

. . . and the toilets down the hall from my offices. On a nice, hot, Summer day they smell like sh!t.

IAAL
:eek:
Maybe it could use some of that extra bleach.
;)
 

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