Often, we hear on the news about imported toys containing lead that is harmful to children. But for workers at many construction sites, lead is a very common hazardous component. Contact can come from inhaling dust and fumes, and may be ingested when hands are contaminated by lead dust.
To “get the lead out”, workers should do the following:
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment: gloves, and clothing.
- Be sure to wash hands and face after work, and always before eating.
- Never enter eating areas wearing protective equipment.
- Use respirators, and be alert to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, loss of motor coordination, headaches.
- At work, ensure adequate ventilation – stand upwind of plumes.
- Use dust collection equipment and employ wet methods to decrease dust.
- Never wear exposed work clothes away from work.
- Use correct cleaning methods and wash clothes daily.