eTools Home :Lead: Secondary Lead Smelter Scope | Definitions | References | Credits
Lead: Secondary Lead Smelter



Overview

Overexposure to lead is a leading cause of workplace illness in the lead industry. Employees working in secondary lead smelter plants are exposed to one of the highest lead exposure levels among all lead-related industries.

Smelting is the process of reducing reclaimed lead compounds to elemental lead.


Environmental Controls
Refining and Casting
Smelting
Engineering Controls
Raw Materials Processing
Maintenance
OSHA Lead Requirements

Respiratory protection and medical surveillance are not addressed in this eTool. However, they are essential for controlling lead exposure levels and preventing lead-related disease when engineering controls do not reduce airborne lead levels below the permissible exposure limit. Please refer to respiratory protection and medical surveillance for more information.


The OSHA Lead Standard requires the employer to reduce employee exposure to the lowest feasible level through the use of engineering and work practice controls (1910.1025(e)(1). The engineering and work practice controls addressed in this eTool have been shown to reduce employee exposure and are provided to assist employers and employees in complying with the OSHA Lead Standard. It is the employer's responsibility to evaluate the sources of exposure and the specific controls for operations that are necessary to comply with the Lead Standard.

How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or worker rights.

OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under the OSHA law.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential on-site consultation service to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eCompliant Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to your local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by an employee are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.


eTools Home :Lead: Secondary Lead Smelter Scope | Definitions | References | Credits