Working with lead can put an employee’s health at risk and can result in lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause headaches, stomach pains, anaemia and in severe instances kidney damage, infertility and even brain damage.
Employers have a duty to prevent, or where this is not possible, to control the level of exposure to lead that their employees face. These obligations are covered by the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW).
Industrial processes that create lead dust, fumes or vapour place employees at greatest risk of lead poisoning. Processes likely to result in lead dust, fumes or vapour include:
- blasting old lead paint
- burning of old lead paint
- hot cutting in demolition
- lead smelting, refining, alloying and casting
- manufacturing, breaking or recycling of lead-acid batteries
- manufacturing lead compounds or leaded glass
- recycling Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) from televisions or computer monitors
- recovering lead from scrap and waste
- soldering with metallic lead or alloys containing lead
- stripping of old lead paint from doors, windows etc.
- vehicle spraying
As a result of these processes lead can be absorbed into the body when lead dust or vapour is inhaled or swallowed.
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) data
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reports that over the last decade there has been an overall reduction in the number of workers in the UK under medical surveillance for work with lead and that the number of workers with higher levels of blood-lead concentrations has decreased substantially. During 2014/15 6,319 workers were under medical surveillance. Thankfully, the number of actual lead-poisoning cases found as a result of surveillance is declining. If, however, you or a loved one has developed symptoms of “lead poisoning” and consider that your employer has not taken appropriate steps to protect you then you may have a potential lead poisoning compensation claim and should contact one of our Industrial Disease lawyers.
To discuss the possibility of bringing a lead poisoning compensation claim please call us on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat. Alternatively, you can complete the request a call back form and we will call you.