You have the ultimate responsibility for the safety of your family, tenants, or children in your care.
This means properly preparing for the renovation and keeping persons out of the work area. It also means ensuring the contractor uses lead-safe work practices.
Federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
Make sure your contractor is certified, and can explain clearly the details of the job and how the contractor will minimize lead hazards during the work.
*You can verity that a contractor is certified by checking the EPA’s website at epa.gov/getleadsafe or by calling the National Lead Information Center at 1.800.424.LEAD (5323). You can also ask to see a copy of their firm certification.
*Ask if the contractor is trained to perform lead-safe work practices and to see a copy of their training certificate.
*Ask them what lead-safe methods they will use to set up and perform the job in your home, child care facility or school.
*Ask for references from at least three recent jobs involving homes built before 1978, and speak to each personally.
Always make sure the contract is clear about how the work will be set up, performed, and cleaned.
*Share the results of any previous lead tests with the contractor.
*You should specify in the contract that they follow the work practices described on pages 9 and 10 of the brochure Lead Safe certified guide to Renovate Right.
*The contract should specify which parts of your home are part of the work area and specify which lead-safe work practices will be used in those areas. Remember, your contractor should confine dust and debris to the work area and should minimize spreading that dust to other areas of the home.
*The contract should also specify that the contractor will clean the work area, verify that it was cleaned adequately, and re-clean it if necessary.
If you think a worker is not doing what he is supposed to do or is doing something that is unsafe, you should:
*Direct the contractor to comply with regulatory and contract requirements.
*Call your local health or building department, or
*Call EPA’s hotline 1.800.424.LEAD (5323)
If your property receives housing assistance from HUD (or a state or lacal agency that uses HUD funds), you must follow the requirements of HUD’s Lead-Safe Housing Rule and the ones described herein.
Next week we will consider How to Prepare for Renovation
The above information is from the EPA’s booklet The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right
www.epa.gov/getleadsafe April 2010 edition