As a result of the obligations on employers to make the workplace safe for their employees, as well as specific duties in place in relation to lead exposure, more and more users and resellers are moving away from stocking lead and only supplying the lead free alternatives in order to comply with their Occupational Health and Safety obligations.
This in turn is getting through to roofers who are refusing to work with lead because of their increased knowledge about the dangers of lead exposure for their employees, and their exposure to future potential litigation from affected employees (don’t mention asbestos). Not to mention the OHS issues associated with the weight of lead, an employer must also ensure that employees are not exposed to airborne lead dust, fumes or mist in excess of the lead exposure limit, according to Worksafe Victoria.
Lead can also get into your body when you swallow any lead, for example if your hands have been contaminated by lead, and you then eat, drink, smoke or bite your nails. Worksafe says that “if it’s not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, you must reduce the risk, as far as reasonably practicable, by using a less harmful substance or a less harmful form of lead.” It also stipulates that as an employer you have specific obligations to provide personal protective clothing and equipment, as well as laundering to employees working with lead.
Worksafe has a range of guidance materials to advise on the required processes and actions that duty-holders must take in order to meet their legal obligations. Compliance codes, health and safety solutions and guidance notes provide detailed and specific advice for duty-holders seeking to comply with the OHS regulations.
Our Wakaflex lead-free flashing tape is a far better alternative to lead for roofers and resellers because it’s safer, lighter and easier to use than lead. Wakaflex also comes in a range of colours and sizes and is Australia’s number 1 lead-free flashing solution. So, why are you still using lead?