Steps to identify hazard:
To assess lead paint you can purchase testers from paint shops. The key here is doing many lead test samples on a property- ideally on the underneath side of weather boards or soffits where is it most likely to be. Often painters will do a lead paint test and receive a negative result, due to the boards being stripped back at some stage however fibres of lead still exist in the substrate. The safest way is to say houses built up until 1965 will most likely contain lead. Lead must then be identified in your site safety plan.
Steps to remove the hazard:
To minimize this hazard ensure your painters wet strip the lead paint off. Wet stripping prevents dust and allows for easy containment. Sanders, grinders and other dust producing tools are hazardous and it may take many thousands of dollars to rectify if contamination has taken place.
Who is liable:
As a painter or a building contractor you are responsible for ensuring lead based paints are contained. Worksafe often take soil samples to determine if lead is an issue, and if found will issue large fines and set down a repair strategy including removing the soil from around a property. Often lead paint issues won’t come to light for a year or two, and by that time your painter may have gone out of business, leaving you as a building contractor/ property owner liable for all costs.