Testing for Blood Lead

An employer has a duty to provide medical surveillance for all their employees who, despite actions to control the risk, are likely to be regularly exposed to lead.

Lead worker’s medicals will be carried out according to the procedures and guidance from the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP). The aim of these regulations and guidance is to protect the health of people by preventing or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlling their exposure to lead.

Where exposure to lead is significant the employer must ensure that the employee is under medical health surveillance by either a medical inspector from the Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) or an appointed doctor.

Your body absorbs lead when you breathe and swallow

Work Processes

Lead can often be found in construction workplaces and cause serious health problems. Employers must protect employees against the risks of lead that can often cause anaemia, kidney disease and even cancers.

  • stripping of old lead paint from doors and windows
  • hot cutting in demolition and dismantling operations
  • recovering lead from scrap and waste
  • lead-acid battery manufacture and breaking and recycling
  • manufacturing lead compounds and leaded glass
  • manufacturing and using pigments, colours and ceramic glazes
  • working with metallic lead and alloys containing lead, for example, soldering
  • some painting of buildings
  • some spraying of vehicles
  • recycling of televisions or computer monitors which contain Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT’s)

What can you do to protect your health?

  • practice a high standard of personal hygiene:
  • wash your hands and face and scrub your nails before eating
  • wash and/or shower before you go home
  • use all of the equipment provided by your employer and follow the instructions for use
  • ensure all protective equipment fits correctly and is in good condition
  • clear up any lead waste at the end of the day
  • only eat and drink in designated areas that are free from lead contamination
  • keep any medical appointments with the doctor where you work

You can find out more information around Lead ad the workplace on the government website below:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/hazardous-substances/lead.htm

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