The new Mass RRP Lead Law effective on 7/9/2010, requires adherence to OSHA rules when performing RRP lead safe practices. The EPA RRP training program touches upon the neccessity to follow OSHA rules regarding RRP work but fails to cover these practices in sufficient detail to protect workers. RRP training covers the lead safe practices in great detail yet leaves contractors wondering what are the required OSHA practices to comply with both.
OSHA VS RRP ON A CONTRACTOR JOB SITE
Recently, we were told by a contractor in the Boston market that his site was visited by a Lead inspector and an OSHA inspector at the same time. The OSHA inspector had concerns with all the plastic on the ground set up for exterior containment. His concerns were for the workers walking on the plastic. He also expressed concerns setting and moving ladder on the plastic in order to scrape and prepare the house for new paint. The lead inspector argued the plastic needed to be left as set up to prevent lead dust contaminating the soil. Arguments ensued between the OSHA inspector and the Lead inspector. The contractor said OSHA won and the lead inpsector yielded. The plastic was removed.
Will this scenario be a regular occurence on residential job sites? What should a contractor do if OSHA and DOS have differing points of view on how a contractor should comply with the various regulations?
Do you workers have the lung capacity for respirators?Another development is the Mass requirement for respirator protocols. On the Mass application line item number 8, there is a clause regarding respirators and worker safety programs. This is not spelled out on the EPA Certified Firm application.
Clause #8 from Massachussetts Lead-Safe Renovation Contractor Application
8. WORKER PROTECTION INFORMATION
A respiratory protection and worker health and safety program evidencing compliance with 29 CFR 1910.134 and OSHA medical monitoring requirements. If the applicant does not have a written program, it can request a program template and checklist by calling the Division at 617-626-6963.
This requirement states that a respiratory protection and worker health and safety program is in place. Including medical monitoring!
This focus on compliance with OSHA on the state application creates another step for contractors who have not been OSHA trained. I spoke with OSHA Expert Darcy Cook, from Safety Trainers about this yesterday. She informed me that contractors will need to be fitted for respirators and tested for lung capacity by a physician. Employees with facial hair may not be able to wear the respirator because facial hair will prevent a tight seal. Then the company must develop a comprehensive program in writing for their company. The company will additionally be required to purchase the proper equipment to protect their workers. Other related requirements include air monitoring and a work clothes changing/clean up station set up on the job site. Darcy also said workers who are not cleared by the physician to wear a respirator will not be allowed to work on projects where they are exposed to specific lead dust levels. What do we do with this worker? Do we tell our workers with facial hair they must shave or they can't work on demolition?
These items are mentioned in RRP training however, they are not trained in detail to insure that contractors truly understand the impact these regulations will have on their companies.
RRP Training Combined With OSHA Training
Should OSHA training be mandated for all contractors? Should OSHA create a training specific for RRP trained contractors?
The State of Massachusetts clearly states on their application for Lead-Safe Renovation Contractor that Worker Safety Programs are mandatory. Signing the application commits you to this requirement.
We are receiving many calls from contractors on how to comply with both OSHA and RRP Lead laws as they begin to work with lead safe practices. We are discovering that many contractors have not been through the basics of OSHA training. Several contractors who have been through OSHA training do not have worker protection programs in writing in place. I am still looking for one who has a respiratory program in place.
Please let us know about your concerns or questions regarding th euse of RRP practices that conflict with OSHA safe practices. We will air your concerns on this blog and make sure they reach the OSHA and DOS officials who frequently read this publication.
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