Lead is an ingredient in thousands of products widely used throughout industry, including lead-based paints, lead solder, electrical fittings and conduits, tank linings, plumbing fixtures, and many metal alloys. Although many uses of lead have been banned, leadbased paints continue to be used on bridges, railways, ships, and other steel structures because of its rust- and corrosion-inhibiting properties. Also, many homes were painted with lead-containing paints. Significant lead exposures can also occur when paint is removed from surfaces previously covered with lead-based paint.
OSHA has regulations governing construction worker exposure to lead. Employers of construction workers engaged in the repair, renovation, removal, demolition, and salvage of flood-damaged structures and materials are responsible for the development and implementation of a worker protection program in accordance with Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1926.62. This program is essential to minimize worker risk of lead exposure. Construction projects vary in their scope and potential for exposing workers to lead and other hazards. Many projects involve only limited exposure, such as the removal of paint from a few interior residential surfaces, while others may involve substantial exposures. Employers must be in compliance with OSHA's lead standard at all times. A copy of the standard and a brochure — Lead in Construction (OSHA 3142) — describing how to comply with it, are available from OSHA Publications, P.O. Box 37535, Washington, D.C. 20013-7535, (202) 693-1888(phone), or (202) 693-2498(fax); or visit OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.
For more information on this, and other health-related issues impacting workers, visit OSHA’s Web site at www.osha.gov.
This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.
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