EPA's New "Lead Safe" Rules Are An Opportunity For Contractors
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently enacted Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule for contractors (informally know as the “lead safe” rule) may appear complex and difficult to follow. But these more stringent regulations on handling lead paint should prove to be a boon for both homeowners and contractors, according to Chris Zorzy, president of LeadSafe Video Solutions, Inc., a Salem, Mass.-based contractor training company.
“Instead of complaining about another regulation, contractors should be working to become certified so they can capitalize on their ability to do work where other contractors cannot,” said Zorzy. “The lead safe rule is not a problem, but an opportunity.”
According to Zorzy, under the new EPA guidelines, contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow procedures that contain the work area, minimize dust, and clean up thoroughly. Any lead paint must be removed using approved methods, and all debris must be contained and disposed of using appropriate precautions.
“Many of the precautions currently used by contractors, with a little extra diligence and attention, will suffice to meet the work regulations,” said Zorzy.
What is new, said Chris Zorzy, is the strict requirements that the owner and occupants of a home or building under renovation must receive notification and information (in the form of an EPA pamphlet) prior to any work starting.
“This communication must be documented and the homeowner and/or residents must sign off,” said Zorzy. “And warning signs must be posted outside the work area throughout the renovation. “To become lead safe certified, a company must undergo an 8-hour training program from an EPA-approved trainer, then apply for and receive a Lead-Safe Certificate,” he continued. “Until that happens you cannot begin work on a home or building erected prior to 1978, when strict lead paint laws were passed.”
For more information on the EPA’s Lead Safe Certification program, visit www.leadsafevideosolutions.com.