Working with lead is associated with many health risks such as headaches, stomach pains and anaemia. In some cases it can also have more serious effects of kidney damage, infertility and nerve and brain damage. Because of these health risks under The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1998 employers are required to control worker exposure to lead.
Who is at risk?
Individuals who work in industrial processes which create lead dust, fume or vapour such as:
- Manufacturing lead compounds
- Removal and burning of old lead paint
- Recovering lead from scrap and waste
- Painting of buildings
- Manufacturing leaded glass
- Lead can be absorbed through breathing in lead dust fume or vapour, or ingesting lead through contamination of the hands and face.
For more information on lead and it’s exposure risks please visit the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/lead/index.htm.
What we do
We have a specially designed questionnaire tailored for individuals who work with lead. A medical assessment is also carried out by our HSE Appointed Occupational Health Doctor which includes a blood test to assess the employees current exposure to lead. Once we recieve the blood results from the laboratory a letter will be sent to the employee and their employer detailing their current exposure. We then re-test between a period of 3 and 12 months depending on the level of exposure. Employees with high blood lead test results may be suspended from work with lead until the blood lead result has dropped sufficiently. We also advise on control measures including hygiene, personal protective equipment and lead dust control.
We provide a preliminary site visit to assess what precautions may need to be implemented so that employees exposure can be minimised. Special requirements need to be implemented for female workers of reproductive capacity who may be working with lead or lead based products. Please contact us if you require any additional information on medical surveillance on the control of lead exposure.