You should assume that all paint contains lead (according
to Health & Safety Executive guidance) unless there is good evidence to prove otherwise.
Almost all clients, advisors and contractors in demolition,
refurbishment, repair, maintenance and repainting are failing to ensure the risk assessment of 'everyday' exposure
to lead-containing paint and dust hazards.
Wherever old lead paint surfaces exist, usually beneath many layers of newer paint which have never been stripped
properly, employers, their employees and the self-employed MUST COMPLY with CLAW:
WARNING: If your work in Construction, Refurbishment, Building Repair and Maintenance, Demolition or related occupations,
you need to be aware of LEAD PAINT HAZARDS AND EXPOSURE RISKS IN BUILDINGS OF ANY AGE BUT ESPECIALLY IN pre-1992 BUILDINGS.
Protect yourself accordingly and use appropriate 'lead-safe' work methods.
Lead Survey, Lead Paint survey, Lead Paint survey
The CDM Regulations require lead surveys to be carried out wherever paintwork and other surface coatings are liable to
be disturbed. This is a mandatory requirement as part of pre-construction information.
PROBLEM: DISTURBING PAINTWORK IN EXISTING BUILDINGS CAN CREATE 'SIGNIFICANT'
LEAD EXPOSURE RISKS. EMPLOYERS HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES FROM LEAD EXPOSURE RISKS
WHICH CAN ARISE SIMPLY FROM THE EVERYDAY USE OF A BUILDING.
WHERE REPAIRS, MAINTENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT ARE TO BE CARRIED OUT, LEAD
PAINT TESTING, OR MORE EXTENSIVE LEAD SURVEYS, SHOULD BE COMPLETED BEFORE WORK STARTS. FOR COMMERCIAL CLIENTS, PROFESSIONAL
ADVISERS AND CONTRACTORS THIS IS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT.
Contractors should familiarise
themselves with lead-safe work methods and best practice. This is to protect their own families
from 'take-home' lead as much as it is to protect themselves and others likely to be affected by their work. Ignorance
of these regulations is no excuse for non-compliance. Important CLAW requirements include:
1) Carrying out 'suitable
and sufficient' Risk Assessments.
2) Providing training and information about lead exposure risks, which
includes exposure risks to third parties - such as residents and employees.
3) Provision of adequate facilities
for changing, washing and eating.
4) Regular blood lead levels (BLLs) screening to monitor lead exposure levels.
Monitoring of airborne lead levels.
Painters, decorators, carpenters, joiners, plumbers, electricians, repair and maintenance teams,
cleaners, caretakers, clerks of works, facilities managers and building occupants, to name but a few (!) all need to be aware
of their own, and each other's obligations under CLAW.
Choosing a Painter/Decorator or Contractor