How to Plan & Assess the Risk
When working with lead it is crucial to implement the correct procedures and subsequent controls. If the work is poorly planned then the consequences can be severe.
Developing a scope of work is the first step, this can easily be achieved by understanding your responsibilities as a Principal Contractor. Although the CDM regulations were amended in 2015 the responsibilities to identify any foreseeable risks still remain. There are many permutations to how this can be achieved but having reliable and trustworthy information is a fundamental element to a successful project. You may be reliant on the Client or Principal Designer to provide accurate information but in certain occasions this can be a liability. Testing for lead must be a priority where the results will determine the controls needed for the safe removal and disposal.
Lead paint (carbonate & sulphate) was used extensively in the UK since the 1900s and was finally prohibited in 1992. Since then many commercial and domestic buildings have applied lead paint, examples include:
- Timber & steel doors
- Stone & marble
- Windows (frames & sills)
- Railings & handrails
- Banisters Gates
- Metal framework
- External soffits & facias
- Ornate plaster
- External render
- Reinforced steel joints
There are many other applications.
Absorbing microscopic amounts of lead can be dangerous especially to pregnant women and children, severe exposure can lead to seizures, coma and death. Less extreme examples can lead to miscarriage/stillbirth in women, impotence and reduced fertility in men and behavioural problems in children
Planning is an integral part of any size project, whether simple maintenance tasks or extensive refurbishment or demolition, lead paint must is be identified and managed accordingly. Testing for lead is the first step this is achieved by taking samples for analysis to determine the presence and volume of lead. After analysis a plan to remove the lead in a controlled way must be considered. The HSE have also enforced strict controls through legislation to enable the identification, safe removal and disposal of lead.
(for reference please refer to the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002).
Using modern and safe techniques eBrit Services can provide a solution for testing and removal, our safe processes include establishing a controlled environment to remove the lead by chemical and mechanical ways. Our safe systems of work can remove lead from all applications including external parts of a building to soil contamination, eBrit Services have the ideal solution.