HAZWOPER and Construction Medical Assessment For Lead Based Paint
When a construction employee is occupationally exposed to lead at or above the action level of 30 µg/m3 on any one day in a calendar year, the employee must be provided initial medical surveillance consisting of biological monitoring in the form of blood sampling and analysis for lead and zinc protoporphyrin levels. Blood lead levels are currently the best indicator of personal lead exposure. Workers potentially exposed to lead at or above the action level must be monitored for the presence of lead in the blood and the effects of lead on the blood-forming system. Full medical surveillance is to be provided to employees exposed to lead at or above the action level for more than 30 days in any 12 consecutive months. All medical examinations and consultations must be performed by or under the direct supervision of a qualified physician and must be provided to employees at no cost, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place. A qualified physician is a doctor of medicine (M.D.) or osteopathy (D.O.) familiar with the objectives and requirements of a medical surveillance program for lead exposure.
The following conditions necessitate an immediate medical consultation including, as determined by the qualified physician, a physical examination and a blood sample for lead analysis (biological monitoring):
• Whenever a worker develops signs or symptoms associated with lead toxicity.
• Before a worker restarts work following medical removal. The employer must maintain any employee exposure and medical records to document ongoing employee exposure, medical monitoring and medical removal of workers. These data provide a base to properly evaluate the employee’s health. In addition, employees or former employees, their designated representatives, and regulatory officials must be provided access to exposure and medical records.
What is Biological Monitoring?
The purpose of biological monitoring is to identify workers with elevated blood lead levels. The data from biological monitoring are objective evidence of a worker’s body burden from lead exposure. These data can be used to follow changes in worker exposure. Blood lead and zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) or free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) must be monitored for those workers exposed to lead. In general, workers in high-risk occupations should be monitored as often as needed to prevent adverse health effects.