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The lead rule was published on May 4, 1993, and took effect on June 3, 1993. The standard (29 CFR 1926.62), required under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, is expected to protect 900,000 construction workers. Our industry has some of the highest lead exposures. In December 1993, OSHA announced enforcement guidance for its new rule, issuing inspection and compliance procedures to be followed in protecting construction workers from overexposure to lead.
The scope of this standard includes any repair or renovation activities which disturb lead-containing material. It does not apply however, to routine cleaning and repainting of lead-containing coatings and paints provided that no significant damage, wear, or corrosion exists. It also covers the removal of lead-based paint, and dust and soil which is contaminated with lead. It applies to the removal or replacement of fixtures and surfaces which are painted with lead- based paint, and the permanent containment or encapsulation of lead-based paint. All activities associated with these activities, such as preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement testing are covered by this standard as well. OSHA's current rule reduces the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) from 200 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (ug/m3) to 50 ug/m3.
The standard requires employers to provide respiratory protection, protective clothing, hand washing facilities, biological monitoring, and changing areas during the performance of specific lead-related tasks. These measures must be taken until the exposure assessment shows that the exposure levels are below the PEL. Additional requirements include a written compliance plan. This plan must be specific for the conditions at the site, must be available on the site, and must identify the 'competent person' responsible for lead-related issues for the site. Protective clothing must be appropriate and supplied at least weekly, and daily if exposures exceed 200 ug/m3. Soiled clothing must be stored in closed containers and laundered or disposed of by the employer. You may not take lead-contaminated clothing home.
This Lead Standard is for everyone's safety. Prevent lead poisoning by doing your part and following the rules
Personal Protective Equipment is your first line of protection. Make sure that you wear it properly. If you have any questions, ask your supervisor.
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