Lead based paint stripping – is it being contained and are you protected as Head Contractor?

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.

Ben Waite

Ben Waite

Ben has had vast experience in the painting and industrial coatings industry. Having left school to work in the family business has meant that his experience has been learnt from the ground up. Training of teams today is a large focus for Ben, and something he believes sets National Decorators team apart from the rest. Ben has worked in the waterproofing/ industrial flooring sector for many years which gave vast knowledge to the technical coatings industry.Having been head foreman on jobs of over 5000 man hours, he currently manages over 5000 man hours every month from an operations manager’s role.
Ben has managed the Health and Safety division of the company for 5 years now along with our consultants, and is delighted at our result of 96% on the AppCon contractor database. Along with this National Decorators also successfully passed ACC secondary assessment audit.
Ben enjoys working closely with clients to understand their needs and timeframes to deliver a great result on time and in a professional manner. He loves working with the National Decorators team to inspire the members to excel, live happy lives and in turn please the great clients we work with every day
Ben Waite

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