Earlier this year, HSE successfully prosecuted a recycling firm who was stripping lead covered copper cabling for a telecommunications company at a site in London. The recycling company was found to have taken insufficient measures to protect its workers from exposure to lead.

Doctors who tested staff found high levels of lead in their blood with some employees showing signs of lead poisoning. The company had failed to carry out a risk assessment.

The case highlights the lack of knowledge and understanding around the removal and disposal of lead that was traditionally used in the coatings on railings, buildings and other structures.

Tony Windsor, Windsor Waste Management says: "Lead is classified as hazardous waste for a very good reason, like asbestos it can have very serious health impacts. At Windsor Waste Management, we can provide identification, analysis and guidance on the disposal of lead contaminated materials. We ensure compliance and peace of mind - it's not worth taking risks with people's lives."

Exposure to lead is covered by the Construction Design & Management (CDM) Regulations 2007 which places a legal requirement on all those controlling site work to take responsibility for health & safety from the design and planning stage. The aim of the regulations is to reduce the risk of harm to those that build, use, maintain and demolish structures. For more information about the CDM Regulations, visit the HSE website.

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