Entries tagged with “RRP”.

You must follow both. (I’ve mentioned this before)

OSHA’s rules are very detailed and apply to any amount of lead in paint (even less than 0.5%) if you are disturbing it. The only time OSHA rules do not apply is:

  • if you are working as a sole-proprietor (no employees), or
  • if you are in some other country.

EPA’s rules are just a start. They apply to any residential facility where there are kids under the age of 6. OSHA’s rules are much more comprehensive and protective. (in some instances, overkill)

To EPA’s credit, they have done a great job of marketing and letting contractors know they insist on compliance. OSHA, on the other hand, only inspects 2% of businesses/year and does virtually no marketing. The chances of OSHA showing up on any given jobsite, is nearly 0%.

OSHA’s rules are very complete and comprehensive. You WILL need air monitoring, blood monitoring, PPE, change areas, water/sanitation, and training. The worst thing you can do is NOT follow the OSHA rules, find overexposures, and then try to “make up” for it. From my experience this scenario is a bad place to be, and happens all the time.

The answer is Yes.

If you are working with lead (in any amount) and you are performing any of the “trigger tasks” in construction = you must follow OSHA rules. Trigger tasks are demolition, removal, encapsulation, new construction, installation, cleanup, abrasive blasting, welding, cutting, torch burning, transporting, storing, heat gun work, sanding, scraping, spray painting, burning, welding, etc. What about the EPA rules (RRP)? Look here.

The only exceptions to not measuring employees blood lead are:

  1. On the first day of work activity, you perform air sampling (for the full shift) and can prove the airborne levels are below the Action Limits (<30 ug/m3)…or,
  2. OR…If you have relevant historical data and can prove your airborne levels during the same tasks are below the Action Limit (within the last 12 months). Relevant historical data must be REALLY relevant. Like, same work activity, same amount of lead in the paint, same general size/location, etc, etc.
These are the only exceptions.
If you choose to NOT perform blood lead monitoring the downsides are:
  • employees might already have dangerous levels of lead in their system, and you expose them to more
  • measuring blood lead levels after the exposure may indicate higher baseline blood lead levels -and you might have to pay for exposure which wasn’t your fault
  • if overexposed, and they have high blood levels – you might have to also check their family’s blood lead levels

More information on blood lead testing from my earlier post.

Who has jurisdiction over lead based paint? Are the EPA’s lead rules all I need to follow? Or, do I follow OSHA?

Well, the short answer (for those in construction) is YES. Usually OSHA, but maybe both EPA and OSHA (*and others, HUD, etc).

OSHA’s focus (as I’m sure you know) is to protect employees. If you are removing leaded on your own home, OSHA has no jurisdiction. However, if you have employees and are working with lead based paint, you must follow OSHA.

The EPA is focused on the environment (of course). They have implemented (April 22, 2008) a rule called the Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule. This rule applies when you are working on any facility which effects kids under the age of 6. If you are contractor looking to work on a project (s) with this demographic, you need to be certified by the EPA. Here is a good starting spot.

It is interesting (maybe just to me) but the EPA has very little enforcement, compared to OSHA. Yet, most people are very aware of the EPA rule. In contrast, I find contractors working with leaded paint who don’t know that they are under OSHA’s rules. I suppose the EPA has done a great job of marketing.

Another interesting comparison is that the EPA and OSHA rules are actually very similar. There are differences, but in general, if you are following the OSHA rules correctly, you are most likely very close to complying with the EPA. (one difference: the EPA requires certification)