OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

May 11, 2004

 

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
 
FROM: RICHARD E. FAIRFAX, Director
DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS
 
SUBJECT: Enforcement of the engineering and work practice controls provisions of the lead standard, 29 CFR 1910.1025(e)(1)

 


The Office of Health Enforcement (OHE) recently became aware of the need for clarification regarding the applicability of paragraph (e)(1) of the lead standard, 29 CFR 1910.10251. This memorandum is to remind all field staff that the stay on enforcement of paragraph (e)(1) of the lead standard had been lifted for all industries. As you know, the courts had placed a stay of enforcement on paragraph (e)(1) for certain industries. These industries were non-ferrous foundries; secondary copper smelters; and independent collectors and processors of scrap lead, including battery breakers, leaded steelmaking operations, lead chemical manufacturers, and the brass and bronze ingot manufacturing. As of May 7, 2003, paragraph (e)(1) provisions are enforceable for all industries as follows:

Non-ferrous foundries: Those employers with >20 employees are required to achieve a lead level at the 50 µg/m3 PEL. Smaller employers are required to achieve a lead level at 75 µg/m3, which was determined to be the lowest feasible level for small foundries. However, these smaller employers must provide supplemental respiratory protection with an approved protection factor (APF) sufficient to reduce the 75 µg/m3 level below the 50 µg/m3 PEL for those employees in operations where the 50 µg/m3 PEL cannot be achieved and maintained by engineering and work practice controls alone.

Secondary copper smelters: Employers are required to meet the PEL of 50 µg/m3 through the use of engineering and work practice controls as is outlined in paragraph (e)(1).

Independent collectors and processors of scrap lead, including independent battery breakers: Employers are required to meet the PEL of 50 µg/m3 through the use of engineering and work practice controls as is outlined in paragraph (e)(1).

Leaded steelmaking operations: Employers are required to meet the PEL of 50 µg/m3 through the use of engineering and work practice controls as is outlined in paragraph (e)(1).

Lead chemical manufacturers: Employers are required to meet the PEL of 50 µg/m3 through the use of engineering and work practice controls as is outlined in paragraph (e)(1).

Brass and Bronze Ingot Manufacturing: Employers are required to achieve and maintain an 8-hour TWA of 75 µg/m3 solely by means of engineering and work practice controls. They must additionally provide supplemental respiratory protection (APF sufficient to be in compliance with the PEL) to each employee in every operation where the PEL of 50 µg/m3 cannot be achieved and maintained by engineering and work practice controls alone.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. For further information refer to OSHA Instruction CPL 02-02-067 (formerly CPL 2-2.67). Please direct any inquiries to the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.

 

 

 

 


1 Paragraph (e)(1) of the standard requires that, to the extent feasible, employers achieve the permissible exposure limit of 50 µg/m3 solely by means of engineering and work practice controls. [ Back to Text ]