Lead Aware Times

Lead Aware Times Volume 1 No. 1 ( ISSN 1440-4966)

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Hiring a Lead Safe Contractor
Hire contractors who use lead safe work practices

A contractor may tell you that lead paint is not used any more or lead is not a problem. Modern paint does contain only a small amount of lead (though lead paint is still used in some special commercial and industrial applications). However, your house will almost certainly have old lead paint or contaminated dust in it if built before 1970, which can be disturbed if safe work practices are not used.

If your house was built before 1970 and the contractor assures you lead is not a problem HIRE SOMEONE ELSE. They do not know what they are talking about, and will probably use unsafe work practices and may contaminate your house.

Lead safe work could add to the cost of your work, but decontaminating a polluted site costs more! You will reap benefits in your health, and could well recover more than the cost in the long term by being able to sell your house as "lead safe".

Ask potential contractors some simple questions

  • Do you know about lead?
  • Do you think this house contains any lead paint or lead contaminated dust?
  • Do you think this work may create lead hazards?
  • Have you ever done any jobs where lead was a problem? If yes, where?
  • How are you going to prevent lead hazards on this job?
  • How are you going to safely transport and dispose of the waste?
  • What training courses have you completed in lead management?
  • Can you prove to me that your contract work regularly complies with clearance guidelines for lead in dust?
Make sure these tasks are included in your quote to do building work
Lead tests $ ..............
Preparing the work area:  
Moving furniture $ ..............
Sealing and covering surfaces and items $ ..............
Cost of equipment and materials $ ..............
Preparing surfaces for painting using:  
Wet sanding or scraping $ ..............
Chemical stripping $ ..............
Power sanding using dust extraction equipment or water $ ..............
Low temperature heat guns $ ..............
Cleaning up:  
Washing and mopping $ ..............
Hire of a HEPA vacuum cleaner $ ..............
Safe disposal of waste and debris $ ..............

Total    $ ..............

Having the work done safely is an investment. :-)
Also see: Making Lead-Smart Workers

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Last Updated 19 April 2012
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