LEAD IN THE WORKPLACE
Creating safer working environments
Information, instruction and training.
Whether you are an employer or employee you will be well aware of the importance of robust Health and Safety practices. You will also be well aware that Health and Safety is the responsibility of everybody and that failure to comply with regulations may lead to legal action from the Health and Safety Executive who have the power to fine or impose Fees for Intervention.
This section is to provide you with access to the latest regulations and guidance to help you ensure that you and your workers are protected and in compliance at all times.
There is a clear requirement for all employees likely to be exposed to a significant lead hazard to be provided with information, instruction and training from their employer. Appropriate PPE and RPE, provided by the employer must be worn as instructed. High standards of personal hygiene must be maintained. The HSE leaflet “Lead and you” provides excellent guidance on this topic.
The Control of Lead at Work Act (2002) and ACOP and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 clearly define the responsibilities of employers.
It is worth checking whether the building has been previously tested for lead paint, or has a lead register. Otherwise it is best to initially investigate by self-testing with a chemical test kit or collecting paint samples to test. If these are positive then it is best to investigate further with a more detailed survey, ideally with an XRF instrument that will give a good indication of the affected surfaces.
The Control of Lead at Work 2002 (ClaW 2002) is the primary legislation in the UK which sets out responsibilities and limits of exposure to workers and to any others affected by building works. It should be considered in conjunction with the prevailing CDM regulations. However there are no specific regulations currently covering residential buildings when there are no works in progress.
ClaW 2002 outlines the Employer’s responsibilities to protect Workers. CDM regulations specify that for commercial works it is the Principal Designer, whilst for domestic works it is the Principal Contractor, both of whom must include an assessment of hazardous materials, including lead paint and special coatings, in the Health & Safety file.