On July 9th, 2010 Massachusetts took over the administration and enforcement of EPA RRP Lead Law. In order to accomplish this the State needed to show the EPA that their new law was as stringent or more stringent than the base EPA RRP version. Now after three months of studying this law and meeting with both DOS and OSHA officials I am convinced that the Mass Law is definitely more stringent.
Massachusetts amends the EPA RRP Lead Law
When the State of Mass rewrote the law, the authors included additional provisions and attempted to provide clarity on the confusing portions of the EPA RRP Lead Rule. In my meetings with the DOS I can honestly say their approach and some of the new wording is much clearer than the EPA version.
Lack of OSHA training time in EPA RRP Training
One huge challenge with the EPA RRP Lead Law and Certified Renovator Course is the lack of attention to the OSHA Lead Standard. The Federal course only references OSHA and states that it is the responsibility of the contractor to comply with OSHA requirements. The old HUD/NARI RRP course taught in the 90's, was a two day course. The first day was devoted to RRP practices and the second day to the OSHA regulations. For some reason the current EPA RRP Certified Renovator Certification Course is only one day. Contractors miss out on the information necessary to learn about the mandated OSHA Lead Standard that every contractor, whether they know it or not, is responsible for today.
The State of Massachusetts decided to rectify this ambiguity around the OSHA Lead Standard. The authors of the Mass RRP Lead Law decided to add the pre-existing OSHA Lead Standard to the EPA RRP Lead Law. The State has brought the OSHA Lead Standard front and center. They require on the application for a license proof that a contractor meets the standard. See evidence of this on item number 10 of the application;
Excerpt form the Mass DOS Lead Safe Renovation Contractor
10. If applicant has employees, 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, model program templates for respirator and worker protection/medical monitoring programs can be downloaded from the DOS webpage at: www.mass.gov/dos. Click on "Lead Program" link, then on "Lead Documents" link. See "Model Written Respirator" and "Model Written Medical Monitoring and Worker Protection Program" links.
Notice that the state also provides templates for contractors to use to develop their own program. On the surface this may sound straight forward and simple. However the numerous calls and subsequent questions from contractors are proving the exact opposite.
We know this to be true because of the number of calls we are receiving every day from Massachusetts contractors who are confused on what is really required to complete the Mass Lead Safe Renovation Contractor Application to receive the license. Contractors are calling for assistance on how to fill out the application and meet the Massachusetts Department of Safety requirement for a respirator program and worker protection program. Many have stated that they are unfamiliar with OSHA and they are concerned that they do it right to avoid costly errors that could result in violations and penalties. Most contractors we have talked to are unwilling to chance using the templates. They are seeking help from OSHA trainers.
Because of this massive confusion on how to best complete the Mass DOS application, we have put together a RRP OSHA seminar on how to develop a respiratory program and worker protection program for Massachusetts residential contractors seeking to comply with the OSHA Lead Standard requirement in the Mass DOS RRP Law. Contractors who come to our seminar will leave with a Respiratory Program, Worker Protection and Safety Program as well as numerous documents on medical monitoring, fit testing, how to select the right respirator, air monitoring, and cost effective engineering controls to help contractors stay below the minimum OSHA exposure levels.
The seminar instructors are Darcy Cook and Team of Safety Trainers, Inc and myself. For more information on this program to help Massachusetts residential contractors comply with the Mass DOS RRP Lead Law use the following link. Our first workshop is on 12/2/1020 in Westborough, Mass.
one voice for residential contractors