Searchshow menu

Lead Risk Work

Please note: The definition of Lead Risk Work herein may not represent a legal definition.

Work that involves the potential exposure to lead is regulated due to the potential long-term harmful effects that can occur at relatively low exposures to lead compounds. Lead risk work occurs when the blood lead level of a worker involved in a lead process might reasonably be expected to rise above 1.45 µmol/L (30 µg/dL) or 10 µg/dL (0.48 µmol/L) for a female worker of reproductive capacity.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) are required to assess each lead process carried out at a workplace to determine whether lead risk work is being carried out in the process and provide a notification to Comcare accordingly.

Risk

There are significant risks for workers involved with lead related work, if lead levels in the body get too high it can cause headaches, tiredness, irritability, constipation, nauseam stomach pains, anaemia and weight loss. Continuous uncontrolled exposure can cause more serious symptoms such as kidney damage, nerve and brain damage and infertility.

Remedy

Given the nature of risk involved with working with lead a number of regulatory obligations are required to be complied with. These should be managed through a risk assessment process in conjunction with professional regulatory and legal advice.

For example, PCBUs have a duty to ensure workers involved with 'lead risk' work have received information about the lead process before the worker is engaged and before the work commences. Information regarding health risks and toxic effects of lead must be provided, the need for, and details of health monitoring are also an obligation.

Resources

Information SourceContents
Code of Practice - How to Manage Work Health and Safety RisksThis code provides practical guidance for persons who have duties under the WHS Act and Regulations to manage risks to health and safety
UK Health and Safety Executive – Lead and youGeneral information regarding the risks of lead
Work, Health and Safety Regulations 2011 – Part 7.2 LeadInformation on the regulations that apply to lead-risk work for agencies and licensees governed under Commonwealth WHS legislation

Notification

PCBUs must provide written notice to Comcare within seven (7) days of determining that the work is lead risk work. Please see the Comcares guide to lead risk work notifications' in the resources section for details surrounding notifications of lead risk work.

Information sourceWhat it contains
Incident notification - Part 3, Section 35 to 37 of the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011The legislative requirements for incident notification to Comcare
Comcare - Guide to incident notificationHelps you decide whether you need to notify Comcare of an injury, illness or dangerous incident under the WHS Act
Comcare – Guide to lead risk work notificationsA guide on obligations for notifying lead-risk work for agencies and licensees governed under Commonwealth WHS legislation
Notification of lead risk workThis form is to be used to notify Comcare as required by Part 7.2 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (WHS Regulations)
Page last updated: 31 Mar 2016