Action required by employers
- Review work processes and workplaces for opportunities to reduce workers’ exposure to lead by reducing the number of people exposed, the amount of lead to which they are exposed and the length of time each worker is exposed.
- Ensure you are using the right controls – check with industry good practice
- Ensure the controls are always used when needed
- Keep all controls in good working order. This means mechanical controls (eg extraction, respiratory protection), administrative controls (eg supervision, medical surveillance) and operator behaviour (following instructions).
- Show that control is being sustained - keep good records.
- You should consult an appointed doctor about the medical surveillance which is appropriate for your work activities and workplace.
- If you are in doubt, seek expert help.
Personal decontamination and skin care
- Provide clean facilities for separate storage of clean and contaminated work clothing.
- Provide warm water, mild skin cleansers, and soft paper or fabric towels for drying. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
- Provide pre-work skin creams, which will make it easier to wash dirt from the skin, and after-work creams to replace skin oils.
Caution: ‘Barrier creams’ are not ‘liquid gloves’ and they do not provide a full barrier.
Training and supervision
Train and supervise workers to make sure they are doing the job in the right way and using controls properly to reduce their exposure. Include supervisors and managers in health and safety training. Make sure your workers understand:
- the hazards associated with working with lead
- how to use dust controls, and how to check that they are working
- how to maintain and clean equipment safely
- how to look after personal protective equipment (PPE)
- what to do if something goes wrong
- use the controls provided
- follow the correct work method
- turn up for medical surveillance;
- follow the rules on personal hygiene