I recently heard a very good summary of when (or alternatively when-you-DON’T) need to perform air monitoring when working with lead in construction.

Is there leaded-paint (lead based paint) in your project?

  • Then you MUST comply with the OSHA lead in construction rules.

On what occasion do I NOT have to perform air monitoring?

  • if you don’t have lead (see the first question)
  • if you want to provide the minimum required protection for all of your exposed employees (respirators, blood lead monitoring, etc. etc.)
  • if you have historical air monitoring data (from another project) that supports the methods you are using

Otherwise (in summary):

  • Take a bulk sample of the paint
  • Set up all engineering & administrative controls for controlling dust
  • Train your employees
  • Perform air monitoring during the FIRST day of actual work
  • Continue with all controls through the project
  • Notify everyone onsite of results
  • Require that all subcontractor do the same process