Who must be certified under EPA’s new “lead safe” rules?

If you thought safe handling procedures for lead paint was only necessary for demolition contractor or environmental cleanup companies, think again. Any contractor who works on a home, school or other child-occupied structure built prior to 1978 must now be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Chris Zorzy, president of LeadSafe Video Solutions, Inc., a Salem, Mass.-based contractor training company.

The EPA’s recently enacted Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule for contractors (informally know as the "lead safe" rule) expands the list of contractors who must be certified before working on structures outlined in the regulation. Among those types of contractors who must undergo training and certification are:

·       Painting contractor

·       Home improvement contractor

·       Siding contractor

·       Window installer

·       Roofing contractor

·       Carpenter

·       Insulation installer

·       Flooring or carpeting installer

·       Kitchen or bath remodeler

According to Zorzy, "Any contractor performing renovation, repair or painting projects in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination."

Contractors must undergo an 8-hour training program through a company that has been accredited by EPA to provide training before being certified as a "Lead Safe" contractor under the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program.

In addition, before beginning work, contractors must provide owners, tenants, and child-care facilities with a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet, Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools. Contractors must document that they have complied with this requirement.

"There are two ways to look at this new requirement," says Zorzy. "You can see it as a nuisance and bother, just another expense and waste of time. Something else to complain about. Or you can view the new lead-safe requirements as an opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors."

For more information on the EPA’s Lead Safe Certification program, visit www.leadsafevideosolutions.com, or call Lead Safe Video Solutions at (866) 436-5663.

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