Under the Control of Lead at Work (CLAW) regulations all workers with significant exposure to lead are required to undergo medical surveillance. Employers need to identify employees at risk of lead exposure and decide who requires health surveillance.
Medical surveillance is required where:
- The exposure of the employee to lead is, or is liable to be, significant
- the blood-lead concentration or urinary lead concentration of the employee is measured and equals or exceeds specific levels
- a relevant doctor certifies that the employee should be under health surveillance.
The objectives of medical surveillance are:
- Make an initial assessment of the suitability of an employee to work with lead
- Evaluate the effect of lead absorbed by an employee and advise on state of health
- Monitor exposure of female employees of reproductive capacity
- Assess the suitability of an employee to continue in work where there is continuing exposure to lead
- Detect early health effects of excessive lead absorption
- Assist employees in their duty to control exposure of employees to lead.
Routes of Exposure
- Exposure to lead and its compounds, except lead alkyls, occurs by two routes: inhalation and ingestion. Exposure to lead alkyls can occur by three routes: inhalation, ingestion and absorption through the skin.
- Lead can be present in two forms; fume, generated at temperatures greater than 500 degrees C, and dust. Occupational exposure to lead is dependent not only on the concentrations of lead in workplace air but also on the personal hygiene and personal habits of the worker.
- Lead has been shown to inhibit enzymes involved in haem synthesis, resulting in a decrease in its production and the accumulation of aminolaevulinic acid, zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) and coproporphyrin. Changes in related biochemical parameters can be detected at blood lead concentrations below 40 micro grams per decilitre.
- High levels of exposure to lead have been associated with nervous system toxicity and kidney damage, often associated with abdominal colic. However serious manifestations of neuro and renal toxicity are unlikely to occur at blood-lead concentrations below 100 microgram per decilitre.
Other medical services we can provide
This assessment will evaluate if someone is fit to work in certain environments.view service
These checks will also identify if existing control measures in place are adequateview service
Work Health Assessments
We will identify if an employee is fit to undertake night workview service