The way to notify SafeWork SA of lead exposure has changed following the introduction of an electronic reporting system.

Businesses must notify SafeWork SA of any lead risk work within 7 days of the risk determination or if a determination in unable to be made.

This applies even if the work is short-term, such as abrasive blasting of lead paint from a structure.

The Work Health and Safety (Blood Lead Removal Levels) Variation Regulations 2019 reduced the notification levels of the allowable blood lead levels in workplaces and were agreed nationally.

Lead risk work is work that is likely to cause a worker’s blood lead level to exceed:

  • 5µg/dL (0.24µmol/L) for a female of reproductive capacity, or
  • 20µg/dL (0.97µmol/L) for other cases.

There are two regulatory notifications to SafeWork SA in relation to Lead Risk Work:

  1. Notification of Lead Risk Work
  2. Notification of Removal of a Worker from Lead Risk Work.

Previously, both notifications were made via email submission of the relevant completed PDF form.

From 17 October 2022, the PDF notification forms will no longer be available on the SafeWork SA website and notification requirements will be made via submission of a completed electronic form, directly through the SafeWork SA website.

The single iApply form aims to streamline and make the notification process more user friendly, whilst reducing the number of incomplete or inappropriate notifications.

In 2021-22 SafeWork SA received 24 notifications of lead risk work and 43 notifications of removal of workers from lead risk work.

Workplace activities that expose people to lead include:

  • dry machine grinding, discing, buffing or cutting lead
  • manufacturing or recycling lead-acid batteries
  • repairs to radiators or vehicle exhaust systems
  • melting or casting lead or alloys containing lead, such as lead dampcourses, trophies, yacht keels, leaded brass
  • removal of lead paint from surfaces by dry sanding, heat or grit blasting
  • demolition involving oxy-cutting of structural steel primed with lead paint
  • fire assay involving lead
  • handling lead compounds causing lead dust, such as from dry lead pigments, lead UV stabilisers
  • spray painting with lead paint (> 1 per cent lead by dry weight).

Employers who have previously notified SafeWork SA of Lead Risk Work and/or Removal of a Worker from Lead Risk Work will be contacted via email to advise of the change in notification process.

For further information, contact the SafeWork SA Technical Services Team by emailing DTFSWSATechnicalServices@sa.gov.au.

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