Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lead Exposure – Preventive Measures

Lead Exposure – Preventive Measures
The consequences of occupational lead poisoning can be so lethal that OSHA has put out strict protective measures in the general industry lead standard - 29 CFR 1910.1025.

OSHA has set the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for lead currently at 50 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air for an average of over an 8-hour workday.

When employees are exposed to lead while on work, protective measures are required. So what exactly must the employers make sure of?
  • The employees must be trained to recognize hazards and take proper precautions to prevent lead exposures. The OSHA safety training program will train employees about the hazards of lead exposures and the preventive measures on how they can reduce and eliminate the hazards.
  • In the lead work areas, warning signs must be posted.
  • The ventilation installed must be tested every 3 months.
  • Work rotation is implemented.
  • Appropriate PPE or personal protective equipment including respirators must be provided.
  • The contaminated PPE and work clothes must be removed only in assigned changing rooms.
  • The work and street clothing are stored separately.
  • Before going to lunch room, workers must vacuum lead dust from the clothing and wash.
  • Workers must shower when their shift is over.
  • The floor and work surfaces exposed with lead must be cleaned with the help of a vacuum with HEPA filters.

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