Federal laws require that all persons involved in renovation, restoration, painting, or repair that may be exposed to lead should be trained in the safe navigation of those environments. If a firm’s employees aren’t certified as being trained to handle environmental lead exposure hazards, they’re subject to a hefty fine from the EPA for being out of compliance with the laws.
In this article, we’ll teach you a bit about which credentials you’ll need to work in lead contaminated environments and how to go about getting your training and certification to obey the laws.
Lead Based Paint Activities Training Accreditation
Getting the official certification requires finding a licensed trainer who will teach you the material and provide a transferable certification which you can show to the EPA to prove compliance. Each state’s EPA branch can provide this certification, though many choose a private class.
Private certification programs are the most common route to certification. The main advantage of private classes is that you’ll be able to attend class on a more flexible schedule than the one provided by the official EPA training, though this advantage has recently been watered down by the introduction of online programs for certification through the EPA itself.
There are some online programs for accreditation which involve watching lectures, reading guidelines, and passing quizzes, much like the in-person programs.
The EPA has a different set of standards for acceptable online programs than it does for in-person programs, but the amount of work required for credentialing is roughly the same for both types.
With the final certification, there’s no difference between online or in-person certificates. Once you’ve decided on whether to take your certification course online or offline and public or private, you should stop to think about whether you’ll need any additional certifications for special purposes.
For certain people like dust sampling technicians or dedicated renovators, the EPA has a different curriculum altogether.
This curriculum is intended for people who will encounter higher than standard levels of lead contamination that need to be dealt with but are not employed professionally in abatement of lead contamination and other contaminants.
In areas where lead contaminants are present but inconsistently distributed, this certification may be required by local authorities before work can begin.
It’s much more involved than the standard certification but doesn’t reach the intensity of the lead abatement certification required for abatement professionals according to a 1996 law, which pertains to paint.
There are also other certifications which are necessary for working with lead in an industrial context, which doesn’t overlap with the certifications that we’ve mentioned so far. In the unlikely event that you need these certifications, the company performing the industrial work will probably retain a trainer rather than use private or public certification programs.
Finding A Training Provider
The EPA has a few regulations about what constitutes a viable in-person training program, which all reputable training courses will advertise that they adhere to. Aside from bare adherence to the law, it can be a bit difficult to find a training provider if you don’t know where to look.
The EPA certification portal is a great spot—and perhaps the only comprehensive spot– to hunt down local private certification programs, and also contains a lot of other useful information on certification. If you’re more interested in public programs, you can find information there too, including the link to an online accreditation course signup.
Now that you know the next steps necessary to get lead certification, it’s time to act and get your certification. Becoming certified to work with a hazardous material like lead ensures that you or your employees are safer and in compliance with federal law that can be very costly to violate.