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.

November 25, 2013

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
 
THROUGH: DOROTHY DOUGHERTY
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
 
FROM: THOMAS GALASSI, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
 
SUBJECT: Expanded Targeting of Establishments Under the Lead NEP

 

This memorandum directs Regional Offices to consider targeting additional establishments using local knowledge of either contractors that provide specialized de-leading services to firing ranges or to electronics recycling businesses, neither of which were listed in OSHA's Instruction, CPL 03-00-009, National Emphasis Program for Lead (Lead NEP), August 14, 2008. This memorandum is being issued now because a number of establishments have been cited for lead overexposures, which in many cases have revealed workers with high blood lead levels. These establishments include: a) cleaning, remediation, and de-leading (removing spent bullets) contractors working at indoor/outdoor firing ranges; b) landscaping contractors mowing grass at outdoor firing ranges; c) local manufacturers of small arms that may have on-site test firing ranges; and d) electronic waste recycling (e-waste) facilities.

The Lead NEP currently instructs Area Offices to identify additional establishments for targeting through the use of local knowledge of potential hazards, such as referrals from local agencies, healthcare providers, and previous inspection histories. Firing ranges are already included within the list of targeted industries in the Lead NEP under SIC 7997, Membership Sport and Recreation Clubs (see the Lead NEP, Appendix A - SIC Table). If a compliance officer learns about a de-leading or remediation contractor while performing a programmed inspection at a firing range, a programmed-related inspection should also be opened on that contractor, per the OSHA Field Operations Manual (FOM).

However, most cleaning and remediation companies do not service firing ranges and therefore their industries, as a whole, are not being captured under the Lead NEP. Companies performing cleaning activities at indoor/outdoor firing ranges may be designated within NAICS 561720, Janitorial Services, and SIC code 7349, Building Cleaning and Maintenance Services, Not Elsewhere Classified. Furthermore, there is no specific industrial class for specialized de-leading companies, but they may be designated with SIC code 8999, Services Not Elsewhere Classified, or NAICS 541620, Environmental Consulting Services, or NAICS 562910, Remediation Services.

Also be aware that manufacturers in SIC 3484, Small Arms, and NAICS 332994, Small Arms, Ordnance, and Ordnance Accessories Manufacturing, may have on-site test firing ranges associated with their production facilities, where lead overexposures may occur during their usage, cleaning, and de-leading by workers or contractors. Additionally, landscaping contractors, within SIC 0782, Lawn and Garden Services, have been found in at least one case to have workers overexposed to lead while mowing grass at an outdoor firing range.

Lastly, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program has recently evaluated lead exposures in the electronic waste recycling industry. While the HHE report is not yet published, NIOSH found that workers were not adequately protected from exposure to lead, and there was a potential for take-home contamination with lead and other metals. NIOSH found that some workers had elevated blood lead levels, which were deemed hazardous even though they did not exceed the OSHA Lead standard's medical removal criterion.

Therefore, to summarize this information, Area Offices shall consider the following types of establishments for their Lead NEP targeting lists and programmed-related inspections if there are reasonable grounds to believe that potential lead exposures may be present.

Establishment Types (SIC/NAICS):

  • De-leaders - SIC 8999 / NAICS 541620, 562910
  • Cleaning Contractors (at firing ranges) - SIC 7349 / NAICS 561720
  • Small Arms/Ammo - SIC 3482, 3483, 3484 / NAICS 332992, 332993, 332994
  • Electronic Waste Recycling - SIC 5093 / NAICS 562920
  • Landscaping Services (at firing ranges) - SIC 0782 / NAICS 561730

Additionally, compliance officers and consultation managers should be informed of the following resources concerning lead:

If any Regions have questions, please contact the Office of Health Enforcement, phone (202) 693-2190.

* Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2129 for assistance accessing PDF, DOC and ZIP materials.