WorkSafe Victoria issues warning about lead safety
WorkSafe Victoria has issued a warning to Victorian businesses about the deadly risks of working with lead without adequate safety controls.
The warning was prompted by WorkSafe uncovering unsafe practices in 11 workplaces, resulting in 21 improvement notices, since November last year.
WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Adam Watson said it was disappointing to see serious safety issues at so many sites.
“Lead is a potentially deadly poison – if dust or fumes are inhaled or accidentally swallowed, it can stay in your body for years, with serious or even fatal consequences,” Mr Watson said.
“Safety must always be the first priority when working with lead, and employers have a duty to ensure workers are appropriately trained and provided with safety equipment.”
WorkSafe Victoria has reminded businesses of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 to:
- identify all hazards associated with lead processes and lead-risk work;
- implement control measures to eliminate or reduce any risks; and
- monitor employee blood lead levels if they are involved in lead-risk work.
The Lead Compliance Code, which was released earlier this year, provides practical guidance for businesses in how to meet these obligations. You can review the code here.
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