Yesterday I spent the day in a seminar dealing with lead in the construction industry. I did this to obtain my Certified Renovator certificate for lead safety in renovation, repair and painting.
The course was organized and sponsored by a partnership between Lamperts in Northfield and Andersen Windows. The course was taught by an instructor from Connor Institute from Baltimore, Maryland. I thought the instructor was excellent. He knew his material well and kept the 8+ hour day moving along. It helped that the instructor had taught middle school for about 30 years before working for Connor.
Lead is a big issue in the construction industry. On April 22 of this year any contractor doing work on most houses constructed before 1978 will be required to have a Certified Renovator in charge of the work. The vast majority of America’s housing stock was created prior to 1978 so it is important for a company like Northfield Construction Company to have properly trained personnel on staff ready to properly deal with issues related to lead on our projects.
We spent the day reviewing the dangers of lead in homes, especially learning about problems children have living around lead. About 310,000 children in America each year have health complications related to exposure to lead. We leaned what to do before work begins, how to set up lead containment areas, how to properly clean up during and after construction, and proper record keeping techniques.
Several times during the day we worked together in small groups with ‘hands on’ projects related to sampling for the presence of lead in materials and setting up lead containment enclosures. I was amazed to learn what small amounts of lead can be damaging to humans. The two most common ways people contact lead is by inhaling dust containing lead particles, or by ingesting it through transferring lead to the mouth by eating, smoking, etc.
Our goal at Northfield Construction Company is always to keep work areas safe for our clients and to create safe working environments for our workers. The application of what I learned at this Certified Renovator lead seminar will allow us to continue to do that.