November 20, 2014


JVS carpentry lab air quality tests come back clean

A student works in the carpentry shop of the Lorain County Joint Vocational School. PROVIDED PHOTO

A student works in the carpentry shop of the Lorain County Joint Vocational School. PROVIDED PHOTO

OBERLIN — Lorain County Joint Vocational School officials are pleased that two carpentry lab air quality and particulate tests showed no concerns.

The tests, completed March 17 and 18 by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Safex Inc., indicated that the individuals tested for wood dust did not exceed the permissible exposure limit set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The tests were requested by Superintendent Glenn Faircloth after Lorain County JVS carpentry instructor Ron Gresco blamed his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease diagnosis on the air quality in the lab.

Gresco, who has worked in the lab for 13 years, provided his medical test results, which showed that he has the lungs of a 108-year-old. He said he brought up concerns about the air quality to former Superintendent John Nolan and Deputy Superintendent Jerry Pavlik after a student was taken to the hospital for respiratory distress.

That student had asthma, according to documents provided by the school.

A test completed by an independent testing firm in 2010 indicated that one student’s exposure to particulates exceeded OSHA’s permissible exposure limits, while another student did not. Since that time, the school has upgraded its exhaust system, added a portable exhaust collector and cleaned the ducts.

The recent tests showed that none of the individuals tested exceeded those exposure limits. Two individuals did exceed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s exposure limits for wood dust, which established much lower exposure limits.

Faircloth said those results are not a cause for alarm because most organizations follow the limits established by OSHA. He said the school is notifying students and staff of the results.

During the company’s tests, an instructor and a student were measured for wood dust exposure. The student performed several cutting tasks with a miter saw and a dado blade during that time.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation test, completed in response to a worker’s compensation claim filed by Gresco, indicated that three students and the instructor were tested using air monitoring equipment while they worked in the lab. During the sampling period, the students cut and routed wood and worked on medium-density fiberboard, luan board and particleboard.

The test completed by Safex cost the district $1,400, while the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation test was free.

Gresco said he has not heard from Lorain County JVS as to whether he can return to work. Faircloth said he is waiting for the results of medical tests to determine if Gresco is able to work.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • Simon Jester

    No word on the millions of actual carpenters, who deal with a bit of inhaled sawdust without trolling for disability..

  • tommtomm

    simon, i personally know mr gresco he was my teacher years ago, great guy, the old carpentry lab was the issue they have since installed equipment to help clean it. hes not looking for disability so get you facts strait. he wants the jvs to step up and protect people. 13yrs in the lab without the proper equipment will hurt your lungs. people need to read the story before running their mouth.

    • Simon Jester

      Those who can’t, teach.

      The real world is far more dangerous. It’s not a bubble wrapped classroom where one can whine to the authorities about proper ventilation.

      I’m sure your former teacher is a helluva guy. That said, the world isn’t a lab. He did 13 WHOLE years in that AWFUL place, I can’t imagine how horrible it was for him…

      And fix yourself, next time you feel the need to throw down on how hard life is at JVS. Spell check doesn’t cost you a thing.

      • jz

        A little off topic but I can’t stand the saying those who can’t, teach. Did you ever think that many do so because they enjoy teaching young people? There can be many rewards teaching kids and your statement is narrow minded and unfair.

        • Simon Jester

          It probably doesn’t apply as much in a trade school, but I stand by it. If schools were full of old, seasoned individuals teaching classes for the love of imparting hard earned knowledge, I’d even agree with the statement being narrow minded and unfair. But they’re not.

          • tommtomm

            rocky i take it your a jvs lab instructor. thanks for sticking up for mr gresgo. simon jesters a jacka….. that just gets on here and runs his mouth, what he doesnt know is that the instructors have to have 10+yrs in the field to become an instructor. simon jester probably never graduated school so pay no attention to his those who cant teach comment

          • Simon Jester

            Spoken like one who knows exactly how the windows taste… Well done, my little product of the public school system.

            You know what I do on a job where there may be lousy ventilation? (Hint, it doesn’t involve whining about better working conditions). I put on a GODAM*ED MASK!

            Did you beloved teacher never mention adequate PPE? That sh*t is your responsibility. No one cares about your health more than you.

            I’m sick of my taxes being abused. I went to JVS. There’s nothing wrong with the campus, and I learned much. I still grudgingly vote for it’s levies when they’re on the ballot. This nonsense makes me think it’s no better than any other union infested highschool.

          • tommtomm

            If your jobs killing you and yes we were made to wear masks you would fight not only for yourself but for kids that want to do something productive with their lives. you went to jvs for what computers or something. cause if you went for building trades you wouldnt be bit…n about this. and no where did it say gresco was suing the jvs i said he wants the upgrades done. and im the window licker. HA. the jvs has money to fix the issue they are covering it up in the news saying there isnt anything wrong because they dont want to look bad. when i was there the masonry and carpentry class was right next to each other no walls seperating it combo of concret dust that can cause cancer and saw dust that some woods duct can cause problems. boo hoo poor baby gotta pay 5 more bucks a year for taxes to upgrade the school so kids can become productive people not the peice of sh..t that runs the elyria streets. as far as PPE their was none because we didnt know about that as kids. and the jvs should have stepped up and said you have to wear this. etc. when i was there the saws had dust collectors hooked up to them that were 20yrs old and that was 8yrs ago.

          • tommtomm

            hey jester they just busted a meth lab in sheffield was that you, lol

          • tommtomm

            aww poor baby i have to pay 5 bucks for taxes awww so kids can have a safe school. jack…..a

          • rocky

            Simon Jester if you had a copy of the report you would realize your posts make you appear to be an extremely ignorant person. The report stated, “some of the students, used, on the advice of the instructor, N-95 3m8210 filtering facepiece, single-use respirators. The report stated that this should not be required until a medical evaluation is done to each student who is requiring one.
            The report also stated that the use of a respiratory protection without a respiratory protection program is a poor practice. If respiratory protection is required, a Respiratory Protection Program compliant with OSHA standard 29CFR 1910.134 should be established. Provisions of this program include respiratory protection training, medical evaluation and respirator fit testing.”
            So Simon Jester “Einstein”, students were wearing masks provided by the instructor and the students tested still exceeded the OSHA PEL levels.
            I guess you still want to blame Gresco the instructor for this problem. The report clearly stated that not only the carpentry lab but the plumbing as well had inadequate ventilation systems that required to, “retain the services of a mechanical engineer with experience with local exhaust systems to design a functional local exhaust system in the Carpentry Lab to effectively capture wood dust, and in the Plumbing Lab to effectively capture volatile organic compound vapors from adhesives.”
            This report was given to the JVS administration to make these changes and the administration ignored the recommendations of this report as the changes were not made. Yet Simon Jester you still want to hold the instructors responsible for a report and recommendations that were made to the JVS administration. I guess you expect the teachers to pay for the ventilation fixes required to the building.
            If your sick of your taxes being abused then you would be appalled that the administration hid this report from the students and parents of the JVS and their instructors and did nothing to fix this safety problem which has continued to put the health of the students and staff at risk.
            This has nothing to do with a teacher’s union and everything to do with covering up the truth of an instructor exposing the students being exposed to serious health risks and hazards.
            Simon Jester your logic and blame is nonsensical. Maybe the students should be at fault for breathing while they are at school. If they didn’t breath then they wouldn’t be exposed to the sawdust and adhesive toxins in the air.

  • rocky

    In this most recent study, claiming clean air, only 4 students in the lab were using carpentry equipment while the other 16 students were sitting at their desks doing work out of their textbooks during the air quality testing.
    Read the actual February 11, 2011 Veritas report which shows that also the plumbing lab was tested and the ventilation in it was not adequate and was only circulating volatile organic particles (PVC glue vapors) around the room instead of removing them. To this date the ventilation system has never been fixed as recommended. Teachers down the hall from the plumbing lab have sent numerous e-mails to the administration this year complaining about the overwhelming odor of the toxic glue fumes coming from the plumbing lab that students were inhaling yet nothing has been done about these complaints. The report also stated that the instructors in these labs and all of the students tested were to be notified which was never done. The report also stated that as fixes and changes were made follow-up visits were to take place which again never occurred.
    The school administrations first responsibility is to the safety of the students and staff. Ask the JVS administrators, past and present, for the February 2011 Veritas Report and they won’t give it to the public. Wonder why?

    • Concernedlorain

      Maybe the Lorain County Chronicle could request a copy of the Vertas report and post on-line? The PD does that sort of things sometimes. What say you LCC? Maybe you should request a copy.

  • rocky

    The February 11, 2011 Bureau of Veritas Report for the JVS is No. 08010-000269.00. I am quoting directly from it:
    Plumbing Lab D213- “The lab had a strong odor of plumbing PVC glue. The slotted drawer system appeared to assist moving glue compounds around the room.”
    “The face velocity of the Plumbing Lab’s slotted hood was averaged to be 399 feet per minute with a flow rate of 249cfm. Bureau Veritas understands that this hood is primarily used as for general room exhaust. General exhaust ventilation is not effective for efficiently capturing volatile organic compound vapors such as methyl ethyl ketone.” Methyl ethyl ketone is the compound vapors found in PVC glue.
    Carpentry Lab D207- “Certain jobsite equipment, including a portable table saw and mitre saws were also in use. These saws were not tied into the evacuation system and while in use, were permitted to discharge their material into the floor. These saw have vacuum attachment points that were reportedly used with a residential home workshop grade portable dust collection system in the past. The use of this portable system was reportedly discontinued a “year or two” ago.”
    “The presence of a large quantity of fine sawdust particulate was observed on flat surfaces and on ductwork and in the structural steel members of the lab classroom area.”
    Simon Jester it appears your tax dollars are going to be used for attorneys. Money that should be used instead to educate the students.
    Gresco pointed this issue out many times to his supervisors but they never listened to his concerns. When this February 11, 2011 Bureau of Veritas report was given to administration it was kept hidden from Gresco and the JVS Health and Safety Committee.

    • tommtomm

      rocky i take it your a jvs lab instructor. thanks for sticking up for mr gresgo. simon jesters a jacka….. that just gets on here and runs his mouth, what he doesnt know is that the instructors have to have 10+yrs in the field to become an instructor. simon jester probably never graduated school so pay no attention to his those who cant teach comment

      • james

        My son is currently in Mr Gresco’s class and it’s sad that Mr Gresco has been sent home with pay when the man truly wants to be back teaching his kids (he truly is one of the great teachers that we all wish our children could experience) my son has been devastated since his teacher has been taken from them ( I state “taken from them” because the man wants to be back in his classroom but JVS wont let him return) even though Mr Gresko did not ask to be placed on leave with pay nor did he want this … the man just wants back in his classroom with his kids and the ironic thing is that JVS took him out just days before the testing … My son took part in the test’s that were performed even though they were not allowed (per JVS) to perform the normal daily tasks that Gresco had them doing every day .. they were limited to just 3 saws running when on a normal day (when MR Gresco is there 16 would be running)
        I don’t believe that Mr Gresco is looking for a handout , I have spoken to the man myself and I truly believe that the district is trying to cover their collective ass at this point only because the man followed procedure ( doctor told him he was sick and why and he filed workman comp paperwork)
        What a concept (By the Book)
        By the way nay-say-ers
        He was self employed as a contractor for 28 years before becoming an instructor at JVS

        • rocky

          Well said James. The facts will come out and those responsible will be held accountable for the parts they played.
          It is ashamed that many teachers are afraid to come forward like Mr. Gresco for fear of the repercussions that they will face by their supervisors.
          As a parent I would be extremely upset if my son or daughter was the one whose air quality results exceeded the OSHA limits and I was never notified as the February 11, 2011 report specified. Why won’t the JVS administration acknowledge the February 11, 2011 Bureau of Veritas Report.

    • unclewicked

      I’d love to see someone present this report in an open court, just to watch it get ripped to itty bitty pieces by an actual professional.

      I’ve never seen anything presented as technical writing that’s this bad in content and syntax!

      It’s unclear at best in certain areas, and the author has little if any respect to the when it comes to definitions and measurements.

      Who actually paid for this report to be produced?

      I sure hope they didn’t pay too much.

  • unclewicked

    “Gresco, who has worked in the lab for 13 years, provided his medical
    test results, which showed that he has the lungs of a 108-year-old.”

    Smoking is the leading cause of COPD, but I’ll bet if you ask Gresco he’d deny ever taking a puff of tobaccy or release any health records from 13 years back that might indicate lung problems.

    Seriously, who here has ever taken shop “class” from a “teacher” who didn’t drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney that’s missing a couple fingers?

    • tommtomm

      the man didn’t smoke. I know him he was my teacher. nor drink. id say an go to church and work family man.

      • unclewicked

        Teachers and school administrators are really good at hiding their bad habits.

        When I found out, many Moons ago, that the maniac vice principal at LHS, who was on a mission to make my life miserable, was a raging alcoholic, things made sense and life became less confusing.

        • rocky

          Unclewicked, if you had the facts, which you do not, you would know that Mr. Gresco happens to have lung x-rays as well as other medical documents from physicals when he was newly employed at the JVS. How ironic but he and other JVS teachers were required to have the x-rays as a part of a JVS Health and Safety Committee program. His lungs were perfectly clear then but now has lungs of a 108 year old according to a medical doctor’s report not based on Mr. Gresco’s opinion. Believe me when I tell you Gresco does not smoke or drink and hasn’t in the past.

          Unclewicked just some friendly advice to you “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt.” Abraham Lincoln

          • unclewicked

            “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” –Abraham Lincoln

            You seem to be very involved and have your hands on all of the facts.

            “Seem” being the operative word.

            Let me guess here… you’re legal representation for Mr. Gresco and he’s gonna make a ton of money… right?

            I mean unless he ends up with nothing other than medical and lawyer bills and loses his job in the process.

          • rocky

            It is quite obvious you don’t have any of the facts only guesses. Statements that all shop teachers smoke like chimneys, drink like fish and are missing fingers makes you appear to be a fool at least at this time.
            I am not an attorney nor am I associated in any way to any type of representation for Mr. Gresco.
            Several newspaper reporters and others have copies of Mr. Gresco’s documentation. If you were friends with a newspaper reporter or one of the others you too might know what the facts are.
            When justice is served somebody will have legal bills and lose their job but it definitely will not be Mr. Gresco. I will let you guess who that might be. I am curious as to who your guesses might be.

          • unclewicked

            Of course I don’t have any facts other than what I’m reading here, and I wouldn’t say the information meets the definition of “facts.”

            And it’s obvious that you have problems when it comes to differentiating “statements” from “guesses” and direct questions.

          • rocky

            I wouldn’t expect you to take anything I said as facts or anything else above as facts. However you should do yourself a favor an get a copy of the Bureau of Veritas Report and see the facts for yourself. The report can better inform your statements, guesses and questions. Take it a step further and under the Freedom of Information Act go to the JVS and ask for a copy of Mr. Gresco’s employment file which has factual documentation related to this matter. Primary sources are the only way to get to the truth.
            I don’t want to comment further on the newest tests until I receive copies of them.

  • Pro Republican

    I know quite a few shop teachers who dont smoke, drink and have all of their extremities. They all are intelligent also wicked. Too bad you cant say that for yourself.