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.

Workers' Rights

Workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.


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