Product Stewardship

Health & Safety

Exposure to airborne lead, fume or dust can be hazardous to health. However there are important principles of health and safety that will help to protect the health of people manufacturing or installing lead sheet products.

An assessment of risks of exposure must be carried out BEFORE any work with lead or lead products is undertaken. If there is a risk of exposure, correct working practices, proper controls and the appropriate safety equipment should all be established and available before work proceeds.

For guidance on health and safety when installing lead sheet see the ELSIA Leadworker Safety leaflet (published in Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish)

There are ten Golden Rules that should be considered when working with lead:

  • Workers must wear the designated clothes, provided by their employer, in the workplace
  • Wear clean work-wear every day or shift and change during the working day if necessary
  • Wear the appropriate fit tested and properly maintained respiratory equipment, and/or apply the correct ventilation
  • Always shower after every shift and whenever potential contamination risks have been high
  • Do not take work-wear home for washing or cleaning
  • Adopt work practices that minimise or mitigate occupational lead exposure
  • Segregate work areas from administrative offices and eating areas
  • Ensure that eating and drinking areas are always clean and lead free
  • Always wash hands and face and scrub nails prior to eating at the workplace
  • Never smoke at work

Employers should ensure that:

  • Adequate washing and changing facilities are provided
  • Any air lead monitoring requirements are fulfilled
  • Health surveillance of the workforce such as periodic blood lead measurements are made
  • Respirators such as a dust mask and other protective clothing, such as overalls and gloves are provided