The OSHA Construction Lead Standard requires that employers shall provide adequate hand washing facilities for use by employees exposed to lead in accordance with 1926.51(f). The General Industry Lead Standard requires employees to wash their hands and face prior to eating, drinking, smoking or applying cosmetics if they are exposed above the PEL.
On many construction projects it is difficult to provide hand washing stations and may require testing of the water prior to disposal. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has patented a lead removal hand wipe that they have determined to be more effective than hand washing. The hand wipes have been licensed to two companies to sell the NIOSH developed products. The companies and their product names are listed below:
- Medtox Leadtech Wipes
- Hygenall Leadoff Wipes
The issue with using these products is that OSHA has not accepted them as an alternative to hand washing. However, OSHA is investigating the products and could allow their use in the future. It is not known if an OSHA citation beyond deminimus would be given if the NIOSH licensed hand wipes were used instead of soap and water.
The lead wipes are not an alternative to showering.
We will keep you posted on any changes to OSHA’s official view of the NIOSH patented lead wipes.
The mentioning of products is not an endorsement by Cashins & Associates, Inc. For addiitonal information or assisstance please contact us by clicking the button below. One of our EHS Professionals will contact you within 48 Hours.