Science

Published on July 8th, 2017 | by Guest

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Lead Testing In The Workplace: Why Is It So Important? [Infographic]

Lead is a naturally-occurring heavy metal found in the earth’s crust, and it has some unique properties that lend themselves well to various applications, particularly within the construction industry. It is soft, malleable, and has a low melting temperature, making it ideal as a building material; and up until the late 19th century it was used extensively in plumbing and construction.

Towards the end of the 19th century, however, it was discovered that lead is actually highly toxic to mammals. It is a neurotoxin which accumulates in the bones and soft tissues of the body; and when it builds up in high levels it can lead to convulsions and coma, and can even be fatal.

Children are the most susceptible to lead poisoning because their bodies are smaller, but nowadays children don’t typically come into contact with lead in their day to day lives. The group that are most at risk of lead poisoning today are adults in the workplace; more specifically, those who work within the smelting, refining, alloying, and casting industry.

Lead isn’t something that can be smelled, seen, or tasted, so it can be hard to detect its presence until symptoms of lead poisoning begin to appear. All employers have a duty to their workforce to carry out thorough lead testing to determine the presence of lead in the workplace. If lead is present, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that safety measures are put in place to protect employees; and it’s the employees’ responsibility to follow the safety advice they are given at work.

The importance of lead testing in the workplace cannot be emphasised enough. It helps to maintain the health, safety, and general wellbeing of the workforce, thus preventing loss of business through sickness and absence, as well as loss of revenue through legal action. Paint Inspection Ltd have created this handy infographic which goes into more detail about the dangers of lead in the workplace…

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