What are effective personal hygiene practices?
To minimize exposure to lead, the employer must
provide and ensure that workers use washing
facilities. Clean change areas and separate
eating areas (which are as free as practicable
from lead contamination) also must be provided
if employees are exposed above the PEL.
Cars should be parked where they will not be
contaminated with lead. These measures will
reduce the worker's period of exposure to lead
and the ingestion of lead, ensure that the
duration of lead exposure does not extend beyond
the workshift, significantly reduce the movement
of lead from the worksite and provide added
protection to employees and their families.
What is a clean change area?
Where employees are exposed above the PEL, the employer must provide a clean change area
equipped with storage facilities for street
clothes and a separate area with facilities
for the removal and storage of
lead-contaminated protective work clothing and
equipment. This separation is essential in
preventing cross contamination of the
Clean change areas are to be used for taking
off street clothes, suiting up in clean
working clothes (protective clothing), donning
respirators prior to beginning work and
dressing in street clothes after work. No
lead-contaminated items should enter this
Contaminated work clothing must not be worn
out of the job site. Under no circumstances shall
lead-contaminated work clothes be laundered at
home or taken from the worksite, except to be
laundered professionally or properly disposed
of following applicable Federal, state and
Showers: When there is employee exposure
above the PEL, shower facilities must be provided
(if feasible) so that exposed employees can wash
lead from their skin and hair prior to leaving
the worksite. Where showers are provided,
employees must change out of their work
clothes and shower before changing into their
street clothes and leaving the worksite.
Workers who do not change into clean clothing
before leaving the worksite may contaminate
their homes and automobiles with lead dust.
Other members of the household then may be
exposed to harmful amounts of lead.
What are the requirements for personal
practices? (eating,drinking, etc.)
Employers must ensure that employees who
are in work areas where any employee is exposed
to lead above the PEL either clean or remove
their protective clothing and wash their hands
and face prior to eating, drinking, smoking or
applying cosmetics. Employers must ensure
that these latter practices are never permitted
while in the work area or in areas subject
to the accumulation of lead. HEPA vacuuming
can be used to remove loose contamination from
the work clothing prior to eating.
What are the requirements for washing
Employers must provide adequate washing
facilities for employees.
Such facilities must be in near proximity to
the worksite and provided with water, soap
and clean towels to enable employees to remove
lead contamination from their skin.
The Environmental Protection Agency requires
that contaminated water from washing facilities and
showers must be disposed of in accordance with
applicable local, state or Federal
What procedures should workers who are exposed
to lead follow at the end of the day?
Workers who are exposed to lead should follow
these procedures, where applicable, upon finishing
work for the day:
Place disposable coveralls and shoe
covers with the lead waste;
Place lead-contaminated clothes,
including work shoes (if being cleaned,
laundered or disposed of) and personal
protective equipment, for
laundering/cleaning by the employer in
a closed container;
Take a shower and wash hair when exposed above
the PEL; and
Change into street clothes.