As of 2010, Mississippi is authorized to implement its Renovation, Repair and Painting program across their Department of Health and other departments. Like a handful of other states, Mississippi is deemed to be able to manage the program itself rather than being directly controlled and authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The RRP Rule was introduced to protect workers and families who are spending long periods of time around potential lead hazards in homes or work buildings. Lead can be incredibly dangerous, especially for young children.
While a bar or pipe of lead is highly unlikely to cause health issues in an individual, when the lead is used in paint it can then chip and when demolished will turn into thin dust. This dust is easy to inhale, and this is what causes the vast majority of the health problems related to lead exposure. To minimize this risk, it’s critical that workers take precautions when working around potential lead hazards.
It’s not just those working in the building that could potentially be harmed by the lead dust, when it leaves through an air gap it’s possible for nearby people to be endangered. To protect against this, the EPA requires that workers become certified to work around lead hazards.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Mississippi?
According to the RRP Rule, which was implemented in 2010, at least one member of staff on the worksite must be certified by the EPA. This worker holds the sole responsibility for the protection of other workers and passersby. However, it’s also possible for more than one worker to keep certification and this can help to prevent any mistakes.
Lead paint has been outlawed since 1978, and therefore the RRP Rule dictates that workers should assume homes and buildings constructed or painted before 1978 will contain lead paint. As a result, a certified worker must always be at the site when work is being done so that the risk of lead exposure can be managed in a safe and responsible manner.
You will need to become certified if you’re a(n):
- Business: Companies which are doing work on buildings which presumably have a potential for lead exposure must be certified through the EPA, even if the contractors, renovators or employees are doing the work. While no training is needed like for the workers, the business must complete a certification application on the EPA website. This is a guarantee that the company will follow the RRP Rule and the certificate should be kept on site all the time.
- Renovators: Renovators who will be working on these job sites will be required to complete an 8-hour training course and to pass the exam at the end. Passing this course entitles them to apply for their certificate, which should be at the job site at all times. After becoming certified the renovator will typically be the one responsible for ensuring compliance.
- Contractor: Even if you are an independent contractor you will need a lead certificate to work on buildings built before 1978. Similarly, as a contractor, you are responsible for ensuring that the business contracting you is certified through the EPA.
- Building Owners: The owner of the building, whether it’s a commercial or residential property, is responsible for following the RRP Rules. If they wish to work on the property themselves, they should only work on indoor surfaces less than six square feet or outdoor surfaces less than twenty square feet. To work on larger surfaces, the property owner must contract a professional who is certified by the EPA.
- Property Managers: Managers who are contracting out work and overseeing projects in buildings constructed before 1978 must be certified themselves or employ an individual who is certified and whom can manage the project.
How to Become Certified in Mississippi
Becoming lead certified in the State of Mississippi is very easy and involves you attending an accredited training course, passing the final examination and applying for your certificate through the EPA website.
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Can I Take a Refresher Course?
Each certificate only lasts for five years and should it expire you will be required to start from scratch and retake the entire training course. However, you can prevent this by attending a refresher course which only lasts for 4-hours instead of 8 and will allow you to apply for another certificate from the EPA.
To qualify for this, you must ensure that you take the entire refresher course and apply for a new certificate before the original certificate expires. Therefore, it’s wise to take the refresher course well in advance of your expiry date to ensure that you don’t miss it.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Mississippi
Mississippi is authorized by the EPA to conduct and monitor their RRP program, and because of this, the enforcement is handled by the State rather than the EPA and Department of Justice. Should you or your company break the RRP Rule by operating unsafely or without a valid certificate, you can be punished. This punishment often includes hefty fines and closure of businesses.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Mississippi
- Find out how to become certified and figure out how much it will cost.
- Complete a training course which is EPA certified
- Pass the final exam
- Obtain proof that you finished the training course
- Apply for your certificate through the EPA website
- Ensure that your certificate is at the job site at all times
Helpful Links for Compliance in Mississippi
To learn more about lead certification and why it’s necessary, how Mississippi handles the issues and what you can do to become certified, follow these links:
Do You Still Have Questions About Lead Certification in Mississippi?
Becoming lead certified can be confusing, especially when it seems like you’re dealing with multiple government agencies. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team, and we will guide you to an accredited training program and help you to become certified so that you can work on job sites that contain lead hazards.