Skip to page content
elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - OSHA Lead in Construction Advisor

1926.62 (d) EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT

(d)(1) General.

(1)(i) Each employer who has a workplace or operation covered by this standard shall initially determine if any employee may be exposed to lead at or above the action level.

(1)(ii) For the purposes of paragraph (d) of this section, employee exposure is that exposure which would occur if the employee were not using a respirator.

(1)(iii) With the exception of monitoring under paragraph (d)(3), where monitoring is required under this section, the employer shall collect personal samples representative of a full shift including at least one sample for each job classification in each work area either for each shift or for the shift with the highest exposure level.

(1)(iv) Full shift personal samples shall be representative of the monitored employee's regular, daily exposure to lead.

(d)(2) Protection of Employees During Assessment of Exposure.

(2)(i) With respect to the lead related tasks listed in this paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, where lead is present, until the employer performs an employee exposure assessment as required in paragraph (d) of this section and documents that the employee performing any of the listed tasks is not exposed above the PEL, the employer shall treat the employee as if the employee were exposed above the PEL, and not in excess of ten (10) times the PEL, and shall implement employee protective measures prescribed in paragraph (d)(2)(v) of this section.

The tasks covered by this requirement are:

  1. Where lead containing coatings or paint are present: Manual demolition of structures (e.g, dry wall), manual scraping, manual sanding, heat gun applications, and power tool cleaning with dust collection systems;
  2. Spray painting with lead paint

(2)(ii) In addition, with regard to tasks not listed in paragraph (d)(2)(i), where the employer has any reason to believe that an employee performing the task may be exposed to lead in excess of the PEL, until the employer performs an employee exposure assessment as required by paragraph (d) of this section and documents that the employee's lead exposure is not above the PEL the employer shall treat the employee as if the employee were exposed above the PEL and shall implement employee protective measures as prescribed in paragraph (d)(2)(v) of this section.

(2)(iii) With respect to the tasks listed in this paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, where lead is present, until the employer performs an employee exposure assessment as required in paragraph (d) of this section, and documents that the employee performing any of the listed tasks is not exposed in excess of 500 ug/m(3), the employer shall treat the employee as if the employee were exposed to lead in excess of 500 ug/m(3) and shall implement employee protective measures as prescribed in paragraph (d)(2)(v)of this section. Where the employer does establish that the employee is exposed to levels of lead below 500 ug/m(3), the employer may provide the exposed employee with the appropriate respirator prescribed for such use at such lower exposures, in accordance with Table 1 of this section.

The tasks covered by this requirement are:

  1. Using lead containing mortar; lead burning
  2. Where lead containing coatings or paint are present: rivet busting; power tool cleaning without dust collection systems; cleanup activities where dry expendable abrasives are used; and abrasive blasting enclosure movement and removal.

(2)(iv) With respect to the tasks listed in this paragraph (d)(2)(iv) of this section, where lead is present, until the employer performs an employee exposure assessment as required in paragraph (d) of this section and documents that the employee performing any of the listed tasks is not exposed to lead in excess of 2,500 ug/m(3) (50 x PEL), the employer shall treat the employee as if the employee were exposed to lead in excess of 2,500 ug/m(3) and shall implement employee protective measures as prescribed in paragraph (d)(2)(v) of this section.

Where the employer does establish that the employee is exposed to levels of lead below 2,500 ug/m(3), the employer may provide the exposed employee with the appropriate respirator prescribed for use at such lower exposures, in accordance with table 1 of this section.

Interim protection as described in this paragraph is required where lead containing coatings or paint are present on structures when performing:

  1. Abrasive blasting,
  2. Welding,
  3. Cutting, and
  4. Torch burning.

(2)(v) Until the employer performs an employee exposure assessment as required under paragraph (d) of this section and determines actual employee exposure, the employer shall provide to employees performing the tasks described in paragraphs (d)(2)(i), (d)(2)(ii), (d)(2)(iii) and (d)(2)(iv) of this section with interim protection as follows:

  1. Appropriate respiratory protection in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.
  2. Appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.
  3. Change areas in accordance with paragraph (i)(2) of this section.
  4. Hand washing facilities in accordance with paragraph (i)(5) of this section.
  5. Biological monitoring in accordance with paragraph (j)(1)(i) of this section, to consist of blood sampling and analysis for lead and zinc protoporphyrin levels, and
  6. Training as required under paragraph (l)(1)(i) of this section regarding 29 CFR 1926.59, Hazard Communication; training as required under paragraph (l)(2)(ii)(C) of this section, regarding use of respirators; and training in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.21, Safety training and education.

(d)(3) Basis of initial determination.

(3)(i) Except as provided under paragraphs (d)(3)(iii) and (d)(3)(iv) of this section the employer shall monitor employee exposures and shall base initial determinations on the employee exposure monitoring results and any of the following, relevant considerations:

  1. Any information, observations, or calculations which would indicate employee exposure to lead;
  2. Any previous measurements of airborne lead; and
  3. Any employee complaints of symptoms which may be attributable to exposure to lead.

(3)(ii) Monitoring for the initial determination where performed may be limited to a representative sample of the exposed employees who the employer reasonably believes are exposed to the greatest airborne concentrations of lead in the workplace.

(3)(iii) Where the employer has previously monitored for lead exposures, and the data were obtained within the past 12 months during work operations conducted under workplace conditions closely resembling the processes, type of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions used and prevailing in the employer's current operations, the employer may rely on such earlier monitoring results to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (d)(3)(i) and (d)(6) of this section if the sampling and analytical methods meet the accuracy and confidence levels of paragraph (d)(10) of this section.

(3)(iv) Where the employer has objective data, demonstrating that a particular product or material containing lead or a specific process, operation or activity involving lead cannot result in employee exposure to lead at or above the action level during processing, use, or handling, the employer may rely upon such data instead of implementing initial monitoring.

(A) The employer shall establish and maintain an accurate record documenting the nature and relevancy of objective data as specified in paragraph (n)(4) of this section, where used in assessing employee exposure in lieu of exposure monitoring. (B) Objective data, as described in this paragraph (d)(3)(iv) of this section, is not permitted to be used for exposure assessment in connection with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(d)(4) Positive Initial Determination and Initial Monitoring.

(4)(i) Where a determination conducted under paragraphs (d)(1), (2) and (3) of this section shows the possibility of any employee exposure at or above the action level the employer shall conduct monitoring which is representative of the exposure for each employee in the workplace who is exposed to lead.

(4)(ii) Where the employer has previously monitored for lead exposure, and the data were obtained within the past 12 months during work operations conducted under workplace conditions closely resembling the processes, type of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions used and prevailing in the employer's current operations, the employer may rely on such earlier monitoring results to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section if the sampling and analytical methods meet the accuracy and confidence levels of paragraph (d)(10) of this section.

(d)(5) Negative Initial Determination.

Where a determination, conducted under paragraphs (d)(1), (2), and (3) of this section is made that no employee is exposed to airborne concentrations of lead at or above the action level the employer shall make a written record of such determination. The record shall include at least the information specified in paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section and shall also include the date of determination, location within the worksite, and the name and social security number of each employee monitored.

(d)(6) Frequency.

(6)(i) If the initial determination reveals employee exposure to be below the action level further exposure determination need not be repeated except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(7) of this section.

(6)(ii) If the initial determination or subsequent determination reveals employee exposure to be at or above the action level but at or below the PEL the employer shall perform monitoring in accordance with this paragraph at least every 6 months. The employer shall continue monitoring at the required frequency until at least two consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are below the action level at which time the employer may discontinue monitoring for that employee except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(7) of this section.

(6)(iii) If the initial determination reveals that employee exposure is above the PEL the employer shall perform monitoring quarterly. The employer shall continue monitoring at the required frequency until at least two consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are at or below the PEL but at or above the action level at which time the employer shall repeat monitoring for that employee at the frequency specified in paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this section, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(7) of this section. The employer shall continue monitoring at the required frequency until at least two consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are below the action level at which time the employer may discontinue monitoring for that employee except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(7) of this section.

(d)(7) Additional Exposure Assessments.

Whenever there has been a change of equipment, process, control, personnel or a new task has been initiated that may result in additional employees being exposed to lead at or above the action level or may result in employees already exposed at or above the action level being exposed above the PEL, the employer shall conduct additional monitoring in accordance with this paragraph.

(d)(8) Employee Notification.

(8)(i) Within 5 working days after completion of the exposure assessment the employer shall notify each employee in writing of the results which represent that employee's exposure.

(8)(ii) Whenever the results indicate that the representative employee exposure, without regard to respirators, is at or above the PEL the employer shall include in the written notice a statement that the employee's exposure was at or above that level and a description of the corrective action taken or to be taken to reduce exposure to below that level.

(d)(9) Accuracy of Measurement.

The employer shall use a method of monitoring and analysis which has an accuracy (to a confidence level of 95 percent) of not less than plus or minus 25 percent for airborne concentrations of lead equal to or greater than 30 ug/m(3).

Please return to the regulatory text topics list or the Main Menu to submit another inquiry.