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Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 4. Dusts, Fumes, Mists, Vapors, and Gases
This appendix summarizes key provisions of the standard for lead in construction that you as a worker should become familiar with.
I. Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - subsection (c)
The standard sets a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (50µg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour workday which is referred to as a time-weighted average (TWA). This is the highest level of lead in air to which you may be permissibly exposed over an 8-hour workday. However, since this is an 8-hour average, short exposures above the PEL are permitted so long as for each 8-hour work day your average exposure does not exceed this level. This standard, however, takes into account the fact that your daily exposure to lead can extend beyond a typical 8-hour workday as the result of overtime or other alterations in your work schedule. To deal with this situation, the standard contains a formula which reduces your permissible exposure when you are exposed more than 8 hours. For example, if you are exposed to lead for 10 hours a day, the maximum permitted average exposure would be 40µg/m3.
II. Exposure Assessment - Subsection (d)
If lead is present in your workplace in any quantity, your employer is required to make an initial determination of whether any employee's exposure to lead exceeds the action level (30µg/m3 averaged over an 8-hour day). Employee exposure is that exposure which would occur if the employee were not using a respirator. This initial determination requires your employer to monitor workers' exposures unless he or she has objective data which can demonstrate conclusively that no employee will be exposed to lead in excess of the action level. Where objective data is used in lieu of actual monitoring the employer must establish and maintain an accurate record, documenting its relevancy in assessing exposure levels for current job conditions. If such objective data is available, the employer need proceed no further on employee exposure assessment until such time that conditions have changed and the determination is no longer valid. Objective data for surfaces and materials that is less than 0.06% lead dry weight (600 ppm) is indicative of materials that will not give lead concentrations above the action level. Lead analysis must be performed for each unique surface coating or material. Surface coating or material objective data cannot be used to replace air monitoring for exposure assessments required for the lead-related tasks listed in subsection (d)(2). Objective data may be compiled from various sources, e.g., insurance companies and trade associations and information from suppliers or exposure data collected from similar operations. Objective data may also comprise previously-collected sampling data including area monitoring. If it cannot be determined through using objective data that worker exposure is less than the action level, your employer must conduct monitoring or must rely on relevant previous personal sampling, if available. Where monitoring is required for the initial determination, it may be limited to a representative number of employees who are reasonably expected to have the highest exposure levels. If your employer has conducted appropriate air sampling for lead in the past 12 months, he or she may use these results, provided they are applicable to the same employee tasks and exposure conditions and meet the requirements for accuracy as specified in the standard. As with objective data, if such results are relied upon for the initial determination, your employer must establish and maintain a record as to the relevancy of such data to current job conditions.
If there have been any employee complaints of symptoms which may be attributable to exposure to lead or if there is any other information or observations which would indicate employee exposure to lead, this must also be considered as part of the initial determination.
If this initial determination shows that a reasonable possibility exists that any employee may be exposed, without regard to respirators, over the action level, your employer must set up an air monitoring program to determine the exposure level representative of each employee exposed to lead at your workplace. In carrying out this air monitoring program, your employer is not required to monitor the exposure of every employee, but he or she must monitor a representative number of employees and job types. Enough sampling must be done to enable each employee's exposure level to be reasonably represent full shift exposure. In addition, these air samples must be taken under conditions which represent each employee's regular, daily exposure to lead. Sampling performed in the past 12 months may be used to determine exposures above the action level if such sampling was conducted during work activities essentially similar to present work conditions.
The standard lists certain tasks which may likely result in exposures to lead in excess of the PEL and, in some cases, exposures in excess of 50 times the PEL. If you are performing any of these tasks, your employer must provide you with appropriate respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment, change areas, hand washing facilities, biological monitoring, and training until such time that an exposure assessment is conducted which demonstrates that your exposure level is below the
PEL. Objective data cannot be used to replace air monitoring for this exposure assessment.
If you are exposed to lead and air sampling is performed, your employer is required to notify you in writing within 5 working days of the air monitoring results which represent your exposure. If the results indicate that your exposure exceeds the PEL (without regard to your use of a respirator), then your employer must also notify you of this in writing, and provide you with a description of the corrective action that has been taken or will be taken to reduce your exposure.
Your exposure must be rechecked by monitoring, at least every six months if your exposure is at or over the action level but below the PEL. Your employer may discontinue monitoring for you if 2 consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are at or below the action level. Air monitoring must be repeated every 3 months if you are exposed over the PEL. Your employer must continue monitoring for you at this frequency until 2 consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are below the PEL but above the action level, at which time your employer must repeat monitoring of your exposure every six months and may discontinue monitoring only after your exposure drops to or below the action level. However, whenever there is a change of equipment, process, control, or personnel or a new type of job is added at your workplace which may result in new or additional exposure to lead, your employer must perform additional monitoring.
III. Methods of Compliance - Subsection (e)
Your employer is required to assure that no employee is exposed to lead in excess of the PEL as an 8-hour TWA. The standard for lead in construction requires employers to institute engineering and work practice controls including administrative controls to the extent feasible to reduce employee exposure to lead. Where such controls are feasible but not adequate to reduce exposures below the PEL they must be used nonetheless to reduce exposures to the lowest level that can be accomplished by these means and then supplemented with appropriate respiratory protection. Your employer must establish a regulated area that includes the work area where airborne exposure to lead is above the PEL, or where the lead-related tasks listed in subsection (d)(2) are performed.
Your employer is required to develop and implement a written compliance program prior to the commencement of any job where employee exposures may reach the PEL as an 8-hour TWA. The standard identifies the various elements that must be included in the plan. For example, employers are required to include a description of operations in which lead is emitted, detailing other relevant information about the operation such as the type of equipment used, the type of material involved, employee job responsibilities, operating procedures and maintenance practices. In addition, your employer's compliance plan must specify the means that will be used to achieve compliance and, where engineering controls are required, include any engineering plans or studies that have been used to select the control methods. If administrative controls involving job rotation are used to reduce employee exposure to lead, the job rotation schedule must be included in the compliance plan. The plan must also detail the type of protective clothing and equipment, including respirators, housekeeping and hygiene practices that will be used to protect you from the adverse effects of exposure to lead.
The written compliance program must be made available, upon request, to affected employees and their designated representatives, the Chief and NIOSH.
Finally, the plan must be reviewed and updated at least every 6 months to assure it reflects the current status in exposure control.
IV. Respiratory Protection - Subsection (f)
Your employer is required to provide and assure your use of respirators when your exposure to lead is not controlled below the PEL by other means. The employer must pay the cost of the respirator. Whenever you request one, your employer is also required to provide you a respirator even if your air exposure level is not above the PEL. You might desire a respirator when, for example, you have received medical advice that your lead absorption should be decreased. Or, you may intend to have children in the near future, and want to reduce the level of lead in your body to minimize adverse reproductive effects. While respirators are the least satisfactory means of controlling your exposure, they are capable of providing significant protection if properly chosen, fitted, worn, cleaned, maintained, and replaced when they stop providing adequate protection.
Your employer is required to select respirators from the types listed in Table I of the Respiratory Protection section of the standard (section 1532.1(f)). Any respirator chosen must be approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under the provisions of 42 CFR part 84. This respirator selection table will enable your employer to choose a type of respirator which will give you a proper amount of protection based on your airborne lead exposure. Your employer may select a type of respirator that provides greater protection than that required by the standard; that is, one recommended for a higher concentration of lead than is present in your workplace. For example, a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is much more protective than a typical negative pressure respirator, and may also be more comfortable to wear. A PAPR has a filter, cartridge or canister to clean the air, and a power source which continuously blows filtered air into your breathing zone. Your employer might make a PAPR available to you to ease the burden of having to wear a respirator for long periods of time. The standard provides that you can obtain a PAPR upon request.
Your employer must assure that your respirator facepiece fits properly. Proper fit of a respirator facepiece is critical. Obtaining a proper fit on each employee may require your employer to make available two or three different mask types. In order to assure that your respirator fits properly and that facepiece leakage is minimized, your employer must give you either a qualitative fit test or a quantitative fit test as specified in Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection standard located at section 5144.
You must also receive from your employer proper training in the use of respirators. Your employer is required to teach you how to wear a respirator, to know why it is needed, and to understand its limitations.
The standard provides that if your respirator uses filter elements, you must be given an opportunity to change the filter elements whenever an increase in breathing resistance is detected. You also must be permitted to periodically leave your work area to wash your face and respirator facepiece whenever necessary to prevent skin irritation. If you ever have difficulty in breathing during a fit test or while using a respirator, your employer must make a medical examination available to you to determine whether you can safely wear a respirator. The result of this examination may be to give you a positive pressure respirator (which reduces breathing resistance) or to provide alternative means of protection.
V. Protective Work Clothing and Equipment - Subsection (g)
If you are exposed to lead above the PEL as an 8-hour TWA, without regard to your use of a respirator, or if you are exposed to lead compounds such as lead arsenate or lead azide which can cause skin and eye irritation, your employer must provide you with protective work clothing and equipment appropriate for the hazard. If work clothing is provided, it must be provided in a clean and dry condition at least weekly, and daily if your airborne exposure to lead is greater than 200µg/m3. Appropriate protective work clothing and equipment can include coveralls or similar full-body work clothing, gloves, hats, shoes or disposable shoe coverlets, and face shields or vented goggles. Your employer is required to provide all such equipment at no cost to you. In addition, your employer is responsible for providing repairs and replacement as necessary, and also is responsible for the cleaning, laundering or disposal of protective clothing and equipment.
The standard requires that your employer assure that you follow good work practices when you are working in areas where your exposure to lead may exceed the PEL. With respect to protective clothing and equipment, where appropriate, the following procedures should be observed prior to beginning work:
1. Change into work clothing and shoe covers in the clean section of the designated changing areas;
2. Use work garments of appropriate protective gear, including respirators before entering the work area; and
3. Store any clothing not worn under protective clothing in the designated changing area.
Workers should follow these procedures upon leaving the work area:
1. HEPA vacuum heavily contaminated protective work clothing while it is still being worn. At no time may lead be removed from protective clothing by any means which result in uncontrolled dispersal of lead into the air;
2. Remove shoe covers and leave them in the work area;
3. Remove protective clothing and gear in the dirty area of the designated changing area. Remove protective coveralls by carefully rolling down the garment to reduce exposure to dust.
4. Remove respirators last; and
5. Wash hands and face.
Workers should follow these procedures upon finishing work for the day (in addition to procedures described above):
1. Where applicable, place disposal coveralls and shoe covers with the abatement waste;
2. Contaminated clothing which is to be cleaned, laundered or disposed of must be placed in closed containers in the change room.
3. Clean protective gear, including respirators, according to standard procedures;
4. Wash hands and face again. If showers are available, take a shower and wash hair. If shower facilities are not available at the work site, shower immediately at home and wash hair.
VI. Housekeeping - Subsection (h)
Your employer must establish a housekeeping program sufficient to maintain all surfaces as free as practicable of accumulations of lead dust. Vacuuming is the preferred method of meeting this requirement, and the use of compressed air to clean floors and other surfaces is generally prohibited unless removal with compressed air is done in conjunction with ventilation systems designed to contain dispersal of the lead dust. Dry or wet sweeping, shoveling, or brushing may not be used except where vacuuming or other equally effective methods have been tried and do not work. Vacuums must be used equipped with a special filter called a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and emptied in a manner which minimizes the reentry of lead into the workplace.
VII. Hygiene Facilities, Practices and Regulated Areas - Subsection (i)
The standard requires that hand washing facilities be provided where occupational exposure to lead occurs. In addition, change areas, showers (where feasible), and lunchrooms or eating areas are to be made available to workers exposed to lead above the PEL. Your employer must assure that except in these facilities, food and beverage is not present or consumed, tobacco products are not present or used, and cosmetics are not applied, where airborne exposures are above the PEL. Change rooms provided by your employer must be equipped with separate storage facilities for your protective clothing and equipment and street clothes to avoid cross-contamination. After showering, no required protective clothing or equipment worn during the shift may be worn home. It is important that contaminated clothing or equipment be removed in change areas and not be worn home or you will extend your exposure and expose your family since lead from your clothing can accumulate in your house, car, etc.
Lunchrooms or eating areas may not be entered with protective clothing or equipment unless surface dust has been removed by vacuuming, downdraft booth, or other cleaning method. Finally, workers exposed above the PEL must wash both their hands and faces prior to eating, drinking, smoking or applying cosmetics.
All of the facilities and hygiene practices just discussed are essential to minimize additional sources of lead absorption from inhalation or ingestion of lead that may accumulate on you, your clothes, or your possessions. Therefore, employers shall establish regulated areas, where access is controlled by the supervisor for work areas where employees are exposed to lead at or above the PEL or performing the specific tasks that require air monitoring, as required by subsection (d)(2). Any employee that enters the regulated area must be provided with protective equipment. Strict compliance with these provisions can virtually eliminate several sources of lead exposure which significantly contribute to excessive lead absorption.
VIII. Medical Surveillance - Subsection (j)
The medical surveillance program is part of the standard's comprehensive approach to the prevention of lead-related disease. Its purpose is to supplement the main thrust of the standard which is aimed at minimizing airborne concentrations of lead and sources of ingestion. Only medical surveillance can determine if the other provisions of the standard have affectively protected you as an individual. Compliance with the standard's provision will protect most workers from the adverse effects of lead exposure, but may not be satisfactory to protect individual workers (1) who have high body burdens of lead acquired over past years, (2) who have additional uncontrolled sources of non-occupational lead exposure, (3) who exhibit unusual variations in lead absorption rates, or (4) who have specific non-work related medical conditions which could be aggravated by lead exposure (e.g., renal disease, anemia). In addition, control systems may fail, or hygiene and respirator programs may be inadequate. Periodic medical surveillance of individual workers will help detect those failures. Medical surveillance will also be important to protect your reproductive ability-regardless of whether you are a man or woman.
All medical surveillance required by the standard must be performed by or under the supervision of a licensed physician. The employer must provide required medical surveillance without cost to employees and at a reasonable time and place. The standard's medical surveillance program has two parts -- periodic biological monitoring and medical examinations. Your employer's obligation to offer you medical surveillance is triggered by the results of the air monitoring program. Full medical surveillance must be made available to all employees who are or may be exposed to lead in excess of the action level for more than 30 days a year and whose blood lead level exceeds 40µg/dl. Initial medical surveillance consisting of blood sampling and analysis for lead and zinc protoporphyrin must be provided to all employees exposed at any time (1 day) above the action level.
Biological monitoring under the standard must be provided at least every 2 months for the first 6 months and every 6 months thereafter until your blood lead level is below 40µg/dl. A zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) test is a very useful blood test which measures an adverse metabolic effect of lead on your body and is therefore an indicator of lead toxicity.
If your BLL exceeds 40µg/dl the monitoring frequency must be increased from every 6 months to at least every 2 months and not reduced until two consecutive BLLs indicate a blood lead level below 40µg/dl. Each time your BLL is determined to be over 40µg/dl, your employer must notify you of this in writing within five working days of his or her receipt of the test results. The employer must also inform you that the standard requires temporary medical removal with economic protection when your BLL exceeds 50µg/dl. (See Discussion of Medical Removal Protection-Subsection (k).) Anytime your BLL exceeds 50µg/dl your employer must make available to you within two weeks of receipt of these test results a second follow-up BLL test to confirm your BLL. If the two tests both exceed 50µg/dl, and you are temporarily removed, then your employer must make successive BLL tests available to you on a monthly basis during the period of your removal.
Medical examinations beyond the initial one must be made available on an annual basis if your blood lead level exceeds 40µg/dl at any time during the preceding year and you are being exposed above the airborne action level of 30µg/m3 for 30 or more days per year. The initial examination will provide information to establish a baseline to which subsequent data can be compared.
An initial medical examination to consist of blood sampling and analysis for lead and zinc protoporphyrin must also be made available (prior to assignment) for each employee being assigned for the first time to an area where the airborne concentration of lead equals or exceeds the action level at any time. In addition, a medical examination or consultation must be made available as soon as possible if you notify your employer that you are experiencing signs or symptoms commonly associated with lead poisoning or that you have difficulty breathing while wearing a respirator or during a respirator fit test. You must also be provided a medical examination or consultation if you notify your employer that you desire medical advice concerning the effects of current or past exposure to lead on your ability to procreate a healthy child.
Finally, appropriate follow-up medical examinations or consultations may also be provided for employees who have been temporarily removed from exposure under the medical removal protection provisions of the standard. (See Part IX, below.)
The standard specifies the minimum content of pre-assignment and annual medical examinations. The content of other types of medical examinations and consultations is left up to the sound discretion of the examining physician. Pre-assignment and annual medical examinations must include (1) a detailed work history and medical history; (2) a thorough physical examination, including an evaluation of your pulmonary status if you will be required to use a respirator; (3) a blood pressure measurement; and (4) a series of laboratory tests designed to check your blood chemistry and your kidney function. In addition, at any time upon your request, a laboratory evaluation of male fertility will be made (microscopic examination of a sperm sample), or a pregnancy test will be given.
The standard does not require that you participate in any of the medical procedures, tests, etc. which your employer is required to make available to you. Medical surveillance can, however, play a very important role in protecting your health. You are strongly encouraged, therefore, to participate in a meaningful fashion. The standard contains a multiple physician review mechanism which will give you a chance to have a physician of your choice directly participate in the medical surveillance program. If you are dissatisfied with an examination by a physician chosen by your employer, you can select a second physician to conduct an independent analysis. The two doctors would attempt to resolve any differences of opinion, and select a third physician to resolve any firm dispute. Generally your employer will choose the physician who conducts medical surveillance under the lead standard - unless you and your employer can agree on the choice of a physician or physicians. Some companies and unions have agreed in advance, for example, to use certain independent medical laboratories or panels of physicians. Any of these arrangements are acceptable so long as required medical surveillance is made available to workers.
The standard requires your employer to provide certain information to a physician to aid in his or her examination of you. This information includes (1) the standard and its appendices, (2) a description of your duties as they relate to occupational lead exposure, (3) your exposure level or anticipated exposure level, (4) a description of any personal protective equipment you wear, (5) prior blood lead level results, and (6) prior written medical opinions concerning you that the employer has. After a medical examination or consultation the physician must prepare a written report which must contain (1) the physician's opinion as to whether you have any medical condition which places you at increased risk of material impairment to health from exposure to lead, (2) any recommended special protective measures to be provided to you, (3) any blood lead level determinations, and (4) any recommended limitation on your use of respirators. This last element must include a determination of whether you can wear a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) if you are found unable to wear a negative pressure respirator.
The medical surveillance program of the interim lead standard may at some point in time serve to notify certain workers that they have acquired a disease or other adverse medical condition as a result of occupational lead exposure. If this is true, these workers might have legal rights to compensation from public agencies, their employers, firms that supply hazardous products to their employers, or other persons. Some states have laws, including worker compensation laws, that disallow a worker who learns of a job-related health impairment to sue, unless the worker sues within a short period of time after learning of the impairment. (This period of time may be a matter of months or years.) An attorney can be consulted about these possibilities. It should be stressed that OSHA is in no way trying to either encourage or discourage claims or lawsuits. However, since results of the standard's medical surveillance program can significantly affect the legal remedies of a worker who has acquired a job-related disease or impairment, it is proper for OSHA to make you aware of this.
The medical surveillance section of the standard also contains provisions dealing with chelation. Chelation is the use of certain drugs (administered in pill form or injected into the body) to reduce the amount of lead absorbed in body tissues. Experience accumulated by the medical and scientific communities has largely confirmed the effectiveness of this type of therapy for the treatment of very severe lead poisoning. On the other hand, it has also been established that there can be a long list of extremely harmful side effects associated with the use of chelating agents. The medical community has balanced the advantages and disadvantages resulting from the use of chelating agents in various circumstances and has established when the use of these agents is acceptable. The standard includes these accepted limitations due to a history of abuse of chelation therapy by some lead companies. The most widely used chelating agents are calcium disodium EDTA, (Ca Na2 EDTA), Calcium Disodium Versenate (Versenate), and d-penicillamine (penicillamine or Cupramine).
The standard prohibits “prophylactic chelation” of any employee by any person the employer retains, supervises or controls. “Prophylactic chelation” is the routine use of chelating or similarly acting drugs to prevent elevated blood levels in workers who are occupationally exposed to lead, or the use of these drugs to routinely lower blood lead levels to predesignated concentrations believed to be “safe”. It should be emphasized that where an employer takes a worker who has no symptoms of lead poisoning and has chelation carried out by a physician (either inside or outside of a hospital) solely to reduce the worker's blood lead level, that will generally be considered prophylactic chelation. The use of a hospital and a physician does not mean that prophylactic chelation is not being performed. Routine chelation to prevent increased or reduce current blood lead levels is unacceptable whatever the setting.
The standard allows the use of “therapeutic” or “diagnostic” chelation if administered under the supervision of a licensed physician in a clinical setting with thorough and appropriate medical monitoring. Therapeutic chelation responds to severe lead poisoning where there are marked symptoms. Diagnostic chelation involved giving a patient a dose of the drug then collecting all urine excreted for some period of time as an aid to the diagnosis of lead poisoning.
In cases where the examining physician determines that chelation is appropriate, you must be notified in writing of this fact before such treatment. This will inform you of a potentially harmful treatment, and allow you to obtain a second opinion.
IX. Medical Removal Protection - Subsection (k)
Excessive lead absorption subjects you to increased risk of disease. Medical removal protection (MRP) is a means of protecting you when, for whatever reasons, other methods, such as engineering controls, work practices, and respirators, have failed to provide the protection you need. MRP involves the temporary removal of a worker from his or her regular job to a place of significantly lower exposure without any loss of earnings, seniority, or other employment rights or benefits. The purpose of this program is to cease further lead absorption and allow your body to naturally excrete lead which has previously been absorbed. Temporary medical removal can result from an elevated blood lead level, or a medical opinion. For up to 18 months, or for as long as the job the employee was removed from lasts, protection is provided as a result of either form of removal. The vast majority of removed workers, however, will return to their former jobs long before this eighteen month period expires.
You may also be removed from exposure even if your blood lead level is below 50µg/dl if a final medical determination indicates that you temporarily need reduced lead exposure for medical reasons. If the physician who is implementing your employers medical program makes a final written opinion recommending your removal or other special protective measures, your employer must implement the physician's recommendation. If you are removed in this manner, you may only be returned when the doctor indicates that it is safe for you to do so.
The standard does not give specific instructions dealing with what an employer must do with a removed worker. Your job assignment upon removal is a matter for you, your employer and your union (if any) to work out consistent with existing procedures for job assignments. Each removal must be accompanied in a manner consistent with existing collective bargaining relationships. Your employer is given broad discretion to implement temporary removals so long as no attempt is made to override existing agreements. Similarly, a removed worker is provided no right to veto an employer's choice which satisfies the standard.
In most cases, employers will likely transfer removed employees to other jobs with sufficiently low lead exposure. Alternately, a worker's hours may be reduced so that the time weighted average exposure is reduced, or he or she may be temporarily laid off if no other alternative is feasible.
In all of these situation, MRP benefits must be provided during the period of removal - i.e., you continue to receive the same earnings, seniority, and other rights and benefits you would have had if you had not been removed. Earnings includes more than just your base wage; it includes overtime, shift differentials, incentives, and other compensation you would have earned if you had not been removed. During the period of removal you must also be provided with appropriate follow-up medical surveillance. If you were removed because your blood lead level was too high, you must be provided with a monthly blood test. If a medical opinion caused your removal, you must be provided medical tests or examinations that the doctor believes to be appropriate. If you do not participate in this follow up medical surveillance, you may lose your eligibility for MRP benefits.
When you are medically eligible to return to your former job, your employer must return you to your “former job status.” This means that you are entitled to the position, wages, benefits, etc., you would have had if you had not been removed. If you would still be in your old job if no removal had occurred that is where you go back. If not, you are returned consistent with whatever job assignment discretion your employer would have had if no removal had occurred. MRP only seeks to maintain your rights, not expand them or diminish them.
If you are removed under MRP and you are also eligible for worker compensation or other compensation for lost wages, your employer's MRP benefits obligation is reduced by the amount that you actually receive from these other sources. This is also true if you obtain other employment during the time you are laid off with MRP benefits.
The standard also covers situations where an employer voluntarily removes a worker from exposure to lead due to the effects of lead on the employee's medical condition, even though the standard does not require removal. In these situations MRP benefits must still be provided as though the standard required removal. Finally, it is important to note that in all cases where removal is required, respirators cannot be used as a substitute. Respirators may be used before removal becomes necessary, but not as an alternative to a transfer to a low exposure job, or to lay-off with MRP benefits.
X. Employee Information, Training and Certification - Subsection (l)
Your employer is required to provide an information and training program for all employees exposed to lead above the action level or who may suffer skin or eye irritation from lead compounds such as lead arsenate or lead azide. The program must train these employees regarding the specific hazards associated with their work environment, protective measures which can be taken, including the contents of any compliance plan in effect, the danger of lead to their bodies (including their reproductive systems), and their rights under the standard. All employees must be trained prior to initial assignment to areas where there is a possibility of exposure over the action level.
This training program must also be provided at least annually thereafter unless further exposure above the action level will not occur.
The California Department of Health Services requires the certification of employees and supervisors performing lead related construction activities in residential and public buildings, as defined in Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Division 1, Chapter 8. Lead related construction work is defined in Title 17 as any construction, alteration, painting, demolition, salvage, renovation, repair, or maintenance of any residential or public building, including preparation and cleanup, that, by using or disturbing lead containing material or soil, may result in significant exposure of adults or children to lead. “Public building” means a structure which is generally accessible to the public, including but not limited to, schools, daycare centers, museums, airports, hospitals, stores, convention centers, government facilities, office buildings and any other building which is not an industrial building or a residential building. Where training certification is required, the training must be given by a training provider accredited by the California Department of Health Services.
XI. Signs - Subsection (m)
The standard requires that the following warning sign be posted in each regulated area or work areas where the exposure to lead exceeds the PEL:
LEAD WORK AREA
MAY DAMAGE FERTILITY OR THE UNBORN CHILD
CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
DO NOT EAT, DRINK OR SMOKE IN THIS AREA
Prior to June 1, 2016, employers may use the following legend in lieu of that specified above:
LEAD WORK AREA
NO SMOKING OR EATING
These signs are to be posted and maintained in a manner which assures that the legend is readily visible.
XII. Recordkeeping - Subsection (n)
Your employer is required to keep all records of exposure monitoring for airborne lead. These records must include the name and job classification of employees measured, details of the sampling and analytical techniques, the results of this sampling, and the type of respiratory protection being worn by the person sampled. Such records are to be retained for at least 30 years. Your employer is also required to keep all records of biological monitoring and medical examination results. These records must include the names of the employees, the physician's written opinion, and a copy of the results of the examination. Medical records must be preserved and maintained for the duration of employment plus 30 years. However, if the employee's duration of employment is less than one year, the employer need not retain that employee's medical records beyond the period of employment if they are provided to the employee upon termination of employment.
Recordkeeping is also required if you are temporarily removed from your job under the medical removal protection program. This record must include your name and social security number, the date of your removal and return, how the removal was or is being accomplished, and whether or not the reason for the removal was an elevated blood lead level. Your employer is required to keep each medical removal record only for as long as the duration of an employee's employment.
The standard requires that if you request to see or copy environmental monitoring, blood lead level monitoring, or medical removal records, they must be made available to you or to a representative that you authorize. Your union also has access to these records. Medical records other than BLL's must also be provided upon request to you, to your physician or to any other person whom you may specifically designate. Your union does not have access to your personal medical records unless you authorize their access.
XIII. Observation of Monitoring - Subsection (o)
When air monitoring for lead is performed at your workplace as required by this standard, your employer must allow you or someone you designate to act as an observer of the monitoring. Observers are entitled to an explanation of the measurement procedure, and to record the results obtained. Since results will not normally be available at the time of the monitoring, observers are entitled to record or receive the results of the monitoring when returned by the laboratory. Your employer is required to provide the observer with any personal protective devices required to be worn by employees working in the area that is being monitored. The employer must require the observer to wear all such equipment and to comply with all other applicable safety and health procedures.
XIV. Effective Date - Subsection (p)
The standard's effective date was November 4, 1993. Employer obligations under the standard begin as of that date with full implementation of engineering controls as soon as possible but no later than within 4 months, and all other provisions completed as soon as possible, but no later than within 2 months from the effective date.
XV. For Additional Information
A. A copy of the standard for lead in construction can be obtained free of charge by calling or writing your local Cal/OSHA Office.
B. Additional information about the standard, its enforcement, and your employer's compliance can be obtained from the nearest Cal/OSHA Office listed in your telephone directory.