- Record Type:OSHA Instruction
- Current Directive Number:CPL 2.105
- Old Directive Number:CPL 2.105
- Title:Special Emphasis Program: Lead in Construction
- Information Date:
OSHA Instruction CPL 2.105 March 11, 1996 Office of Health Compliance Assistance
SUBJECT: Special Emphasis Program: Lead in Construction
A. Purpose. This instruction establishes a nationally directed Special Emphasis Program (SEP) for programmed health inspections of lead in construction operations in accordance with the provisions of the Field Information Reference Manual (FIRM).
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA - wide.
C. Action. Regional Administrators and Area Directors shall ensure that the procedures established in this instruction are adhered to in the scheduling of programmed inspections.
- 1. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103, September 26, 1994, Field
Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM).
- 2. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B, March 3, 1995, The Revised Field
Operations Manual (FOM).
- 3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Technical Manual:
OSHA Instruction TED 1.15 Section I, Chapter 1, part C; Section I, Chapter
2; Section IV, Chapter 3, Parts A, B, and C; Section VII.
- 4. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.58, December 13, 1993, 29 CFR 1926.62,
Lead Exposure in Construction: Inspection and Compliance
- 5. OSHA Instruction STD 3-8.1, October 30, 1978, Welding, Cutting,
or Heating of Metals Coated with Lead-bearing Paint.
- 6. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.38C, October 22, 1990, Inspection
Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard.
- 7. OSHA Memorandum date August 22, 1994 (Revision September 20,
1995) "Guidance to Compliance Officers for Focused Inspections in the
E. Federal Program Change. This is a federal program change that impacts state programs.
- 1. The Regional Administrator (RA) shall ensure that this change
is promptly forwarded to each state designee using a format consistent with
the Plan Change Two-way Memorandum in Appendix A, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A,
State Plan Policies and Procedures Manual (SPM).
- 2. The RA shall explain the content of this change to the State
- 3. States are encouraged, but not required, to adopt an identical
or alternative policy. States shall be asked to provide preliminary
notification to the RA within 30 days from the date of this instruction of
their intent to adopt or not to adopt the procedure in this directive. The
state shall formally respond to this change with an indication of their
intent within 70 days in accordance with paragraph I.1.a.(2).(a). and (b),
Chapter III of Part I of the SPM. If the state adopts different compliance
procedures, a copy of the procedures shall be provided to the RA within six
(6) months from the date of this directive.
- 4. State designees also wish to include alternative procedures in
a pilot Performance Agreement to be negotiated between the state and the RA
and approved by the Assistant Secretary. Such agreements shall define
interim indicators of effectiveness and the results anticipated from a
- 5. The RA shall review policy, procedures, and instructions issued
by the state and monitor their implementation as provided in a performance
agreement or through routine monitoring focusing on impact and
F. Background. Over the past several years OSHA inspections have documented elevated blood lead levels in construction workers. The source of the exposure is from the cutting, welding, grinding, and/or abrasive blasting on steel surfaces such as bridges and tanks that are coated with lead-bearing paints. In response, several state plan states, area offices, and regions have developed their own local emphasis programs to address this hazard in the construction industry.
- The agency therefore, has determined that an increased uniform OSHA
enforcement presence is warranted at work sites where such exposures
- 1. In 1990, NIOSH set as a national goal the elimination of lead
exposures that result in workers having blood lead concentrations greater
than 26 ug/100 grams of whole blood.
- 2. In 1991, OSHA announced it would begin to develop a standard
regulating lead exposure in construction.
- 3. In October, 1992, Congress passed Sections 1031 and 1032 of
Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (Public Law
102-550). The Act specifically required the Secretary of Labor to issue an
interim final lead standard covering the construction industry.
- 4. In May 1993, OSHA issued the Interim Final Rule for Lead in
- 5. The construction scheduling procedure outlined in the FIRM
cannot directly be used in scheduling health inspections for lead exposure in
construction. Consequently, the following procedures are prescribed in
scheduling these inspections.
G. Procedures. Inspections under this special emphasis program shall be scheduled and conducted under the following priority:
- 1. Referrals:
- For states that have enacted mandatory reporting of blood lead,
the Area or Regional Office shall attempt to obtain the blood lead data where
possible. Employers with worker blood lead levels above 40 ug/100 grams of
whole blood shall be targeted for inspection provided the worker can be
identified with an employer.
- Any means to determine when construction activities involve
worker exposure to hazards associated with lead during abrasive blasting,
sanding, cutting, burning, welding, painting, etc. of steel structures coated
with lead contaminated paints, or during any other disturbance of lead
containing materials shall be used. All compliance personnel shall be
instructed to be on the lookout for construction activities where there is a
potential for exposure to lead. Such activities can include, but are not
- residential remodeling petroleum tank repainting indoor and
outdoor industrial maintenance* and renovation commercial and institutional
remodeling highway and railroad bridge repainting and rehabilitation, lead
joint work on cast iron soil pipes, repair and removal of water lines, water
tank repainting and demolition, highway and railroad bridge demolition,
housing lead abatement projects, electric transmission and communication
tower maintenance,* electrical cable splicing and resplicing, installation of
terne roofing, elevator cable babbitting,* underground storage tank
demolition, stained glass window removal and repair, and mineral wool
insulation with lead contamination.*
*Note: Construction work means any construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating. The highlighted activities, may under some circumstances, fall under the General Industry lead standard 29 CFR 1910.1025. CSHOs should refer to page A-1 of CPL 2-2.58 for a discussion of such instances where 29 CFR 1910.1025 prevails. For inspections of these activities conducted under this SEP, CSHOs must document that the work is a construction activity as defined by CPL 2-2.58 and 29 CFR 1926.62.
- Every observation of any operation where there exists the
potential for lead exposure shall be handled as follows:
- a. Whenever a CSHO observes or receives information,
regardless of whether or not a violation is observed, through nonformal
complaints, referrals, reports from members of the general public, and so
forth, the CSHO shall:
- 1. Document the status and condition of the work operation
as far as it is known, noting any serious hazards.
- 2. Note the name and address and location of the worksite
and the contractor(s) performing the operation.
- 3. Provide the Area office Supervisor or Area Director
with the information. Based upon the information provided, all potential
lead in construction work sites brought to the attention of the Area Office
shall be investigated/inspected as follows:
- a. If the worksite has been inspected within the last
30 days, the results of the inspection shall be considered along with the
current worksite observations in determining whether or not an inspection is
to be conducted.
- 1. If the lead-related work was not in progress during
the previous visit to the site but is currently in progress the inspection
shall be authorized and opened.
- 2. If the lead-related work was in progress and
evaluated during the previous inspection, the inspection will be opened only
if apparent serious violations are present or can reasonably be expected at
- b. If the worksite has not been inspected within the
previous 30 days, an investigation/inspection shall be conducted unless it is
apparent that workers are not exposed to lead.
- b. Reports of imminent danger, fatality/catastrophe reports,
formal/nonformal complaints, safety and health referrals from other federal,
state, county, and city agencies, media reports, reports for physicians,
hospitals, or medical clinics, and reports from the general public shall be
investigated/inspected by the Area Office.
- c. The discovery of these work sites may be the result of a
specific search to find this type of operation, at the discretion of the
Regional Administrator. Although sightings will be those normally that occur
during the course of routine travel during duty or non-duty hours, Regional
policy may provide that the Area Director saturate areas of high construction
activity to identify potential lead in construction work
- Documentation of the events leading up to the observation
shall be maintained by the Area Office in case of a denial of
- 2. Area Offices are encouraged to develop a list of construction
contractors under their jurisdiction likely to be involved in lead related
activities. SIC Codes most likely to be included in the list involve 1622
(bridge tunnel, and elevated highway construction), 1629 (heavy
construction), 1721 (painting and paperhanging), 1791 (structural steel
erection), 1795 (wrecking and demolition work, and 1799 (special trade
contractors not elsewhere classified). Sources for contractors involved in
lead related work can include, but are not limited to: federal or state
Department of Transportation (DOT) contacts (bridge contracts), Dodge
reports, and state and local building permits.
- Inspection sites will be randomly selected for inspection from
the list compiled from the above sources using a random numbers table. (This
selection process sets forth administratively neutral criteria to identify
establishments for inspection.) As new sites are added they should be
randomized for inspection.
- If a contractors' list is used for randomly selected
inspections, the list of selected contractors should be checked with local
state agencies such as the DOT to determine whether or not the selected
contractor are involved in an active site.
- Note: If a contractor does not have an active site, the
Area Office may elect to review the records at the company's office or
headquarters (bid specifications, contracts, respirator program, medical
surveillance records, air monitoring records, lead training, compliance
program, and hazard communication). Citable deficiencies will be documented
and violations issued provided exposure to lead within the previous six
months can be substantiated.
- 3. Industrial hygienists conducting these inspections should
consult with safety CSHO's on fall protection hazards and hazards associated
with working over water. Where resources permit, a joint safety and health
inspection should be conducted. Referrals to safety compliance officers
where appropriate shall be submitted.
- 4. The "Memorandum dated August 22, 1994 (Revision (2) September
20, 1995) Guidance to Compliance Officers for Focused Inspections in the
Construction Industry" will be followed.
- 1. Inspections under this SEP shall address all aspects of any
potential lead work or exposure and include a review of all related written
documentation (i.e., record keeping, monitoring, medical, respirator fit
testing and procedures, hazard communication, and training materials). The
CSHO may expand the inspection scope beyond the lead related activities if
hazards or violations are observed (FIRM CH. II-1).
- 2. When the company headquarters are located in another Region,
every attempt shall be made to obtain the above information. A referral to
another Region should be considered for violation of 1926.33, if access to
employee exposure and medical records is denied.
- 3. If a site turns out to be located within the jurisdiction of
another Area Office, a referral will be made to the appropriate Area Office
according to current procedures. Information obtained from the contractors'
headquarters will be shared with any other Area Office having an active
- 4. The number of inspections conducted under this SEP shall be
determined independently by each Region. The inspections planned under this
SEP shall be deducted from the number of total planned inspections.
- 5. CSHO's shall conduct personal monitoring and collect wipe
samples as appropriate to document exposures. See OSHA Instruction TED
- 6. While evaluating worker exposures to lead, CSHOs will also need
to be aware of and evaluate potential exposures to other metals including but
not limited to: arsenic, manganese, chromium, cadmium, copper, and
magnesium. CSHOs should not request an ICP (inductively coupled plasma)
analysis for abrasive blasting operations or when an arsenic analysis is
needed without first contacting the inorganic lab of the Salt Lake City
Technical Center. Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectroscopy can be requested for
arsenic and any of the other specific metals. With AA spectroscopy a total
of four metals can be requested per sampling filter.
I. Recording in IMIS. Current instructions for completing the appropriate inspection classification boxes (Items 24 and 25), as found in the IMIS Manual for the OSHA 1 Form shall be applied when recording inspections conducted under this SEP as follows:
- 1. The OSHA-1 Form for any programmed inspection covered under
this special emphasis program for lead in construction shall be marked
"PLANNED" (Item 24h), "CONSTRUCTION" (Item 25a) and "SPECIAL EMPHASIS
PROGRAM" (Item 25d). Record "LEAD" in the space in item 25d.
- 2. The OSHA-1 Form for any unprogrammed inspection shall be marked
as unprogrammed (Item 24a. through g. as appropriate). In addition, it shall
be marked "SPECIAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM" (Item 25d). Record "LEAD" in the space
in Item 25d.
J. Full Service Program Support. Each Area Office/Region is encouraged to develop outreach programs that will support the enforcement effort. Such programs could include letters to employers, the Associated General Contractors (AGC), local unions, Associated Builders and Contractors, local safety councils, apprenticeship programs, local hospitals and occupational health clinics, and/or other construction employer organizations that engage in lead in construction activities. Speeches through the local safety councils or industrial hygiene organizations can provide another avenue for dissemination of information as can press releases to the local media. Region I has had a special emphasis program for lead in construction since 1989. The lead coordinator for Region I can be contacted for guidance and information on the outreach program ((617) 565-7164).
- Area Offices are encouraged to develop a list of contractors
involved with lead in construction work. Once the list has been generated,
every contractor can be contacted (if resources permit) in writing and
provided with a copy of the lead in construction standard and general
information available about lead.
- For additional outreach information and guidance please contact the
Office of Health Compliance Assistance at 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room
N-3467, Washington, D.C. 20210; (202) 219-8036.
Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary
Distribution: National, Regional, and Area Offices All Compliance Officers
State Designees NIOSH Regional Program Directors 7(c)(1) Consultation Project