Administrative and Work Practice Controls (Continued…)

Housekeeping practices. An effective housekeeping program involves a regular schedule to remove accumulations of lead dust and lead-containing debris.

  • The schedule should be adapted to exposure conditions at a particular worksite. OSHA’s Lead Standard for Construction requires employers to maintain all surfaces as free of lead contamination as practicable.
  • Vacuuming lead dust with HEPA-filtered equipment or wetting the dust with water before sweeping are effective control measures.
  • Compressed air may not be used to remove lead from contaminated surfaces unless a ventilation system is in place to capture the dust generated by the compressed air.
  • Put all lead-containing debris and contaminated items accumulated for disposal into sealed, impermeable bags or other closed impermeable containers.
  • Label bags and containers as lead-containing waste. These measures provide additional help in controlling exposure.

End-of-day procedures. Employers must ensure that workers who are exposed to lead above the permissible exposure limit follow these procedures at the end of their workday:

  • Place contaminated clothes, including work shoes and personal protective equipment to be cleaned, laundered, or disposed of, in a properly labeled closed container.
  • Take a shower and wash their hair. Where showers are not provided, employees must wash their hands and face at the end of the workshift.
  • Change into street clothes in clean change areas.

Personal Hygiene Practices. Emphasize workers’ personal hygiene such as washing their hands and face after work and before eating to minimize their exposure to lead. Provide and ensure that workers use washing facilities. Provide clean change areas and readily accessible eating areas. If possible, provide a parking area where cars will not be contaminated with lead. These measures:

  • Reduce workers’ exposure to lead and the likelihood that they will ingest lead,
  • Ensure that the exposure does not extend beyond the worksite,
  • Reduce the movement of lead from the worksite, and
  • Provide added protection to employees and their families.

Personal practices. The employer must ensure that employees use suitable personal hygiene practices to prevent exposure to lead.

  • Do not enter lunchroom facilities or eating areas with protective work clothing or equipment unless surface lead dust has been removed. HEPA vacuuming and use of a downdraft booth are examples of cleaning methods that limit the dispersion of lead dust from contaminated work clothing.
  • In all areas where employees are exposed to lead above the PEL, employees must observe the prohibition on the presence and consumption or use of food, beverages, tobacco products, and cosmetics.
  • Employees whose airborne exposure to lead is above the PEL must wash their hands and face before eating, drinking, smoking, or applying cosmetics.