Alabama requires lead-safe practices for any work performed around lead-based paint, which includes any houses, child care facilities and schools built before 1978. At least one lead-certified individual must be on the job site at all times to ensure everyone else follows proper safety protocols.
The certification process is managed by the Alabama Lead Contractors Certification Program, which is a statewide program created by Act No. 97-533. The Lead Contractor Certification Program has two parts: Lead Hazard Reduction Contractor Certification and Alabama Lead Renovation Contractor Certification.
Lead certification teaches individuals and businesses how to work around lead-paint and related hazards safely. To become certified, individuals must first pass an EPA-accredited training course. Then they’re eligible to apply for certification online.
Who Needs Lead Certification in Alabama?
Certification isn’t some meaningless bureaucratic designation. Instead, the certification process provides valuable information about how to keep workers and the surrounding community safe from lead-related dangers.
The general rule regarding lead certification is “better safe than sorry.” You’ll want to be certified if there’s any possibility you’ll be working around lead. A certified worker needs to be on-site for any work on a building constructed before 1978, which is the year lead paint was banned.
Individuals who commonly require lead certification include:
- Renovators: Renovators often perform the majority of work on the job site, so they need to understand how to avoid hazards. In many cases, the renovator will be the only individual on site with lead certification, making them responsible for safe working conditions for all other workers.
- Contractors: You’ll need certification before working on any buildings built before 1978. Even if you’re not going to physically perform the work yourself, you’ll still need to be certified. Additionally, as a contractor, you’ll need to make sure your employer is also EPA certified.
- Home Owners: Homeowners require certification if working on any surfaces larger than six square feet indoors or 20 square feet outdoors. If you’re not performing any work yourself, you don’t need to be certified, but any contractors you hire do.
- Firms/Businesses: Any organization which employs contractors, renovators or other workers requires certification. Organizations don’t need to go through training, but they do need to complete an application through the EPA website. Once certified, you’ll display the certificate on the job site at all times.
How to Become Certified in Alabama
The certification process is simple but informative. First, you’ll need to attend an accredited training program. The exact cost will vary by type and location. Most programs are held in a classroom setting and require a fair amount of hands-on training.
At the end of the course, you’ll take an EPA-approved test about what you’ve learned. The test will have anywhere from 25 to 100 questions. You’ll have to get 70 percent or more correct to pass. If you do fail, you can try again right away.
Certification can be applied for after you’ve attended the entire class, completed all the hands-on activities and passed the end-of-class EPA test. You apply for certification through an EPA website, where you’ll submit proof you’ve passed the test.
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What are Certification Refresher Courses?
Certification is valid for five years. If certification lapses, you’ll have to start the entire process over from the beginning. You’ll need to re-enroll in an eight-hour training course, re-take the test and re-apply for certification. Needless to say, doing all of that can be a real hassle – and is usually pretty boring.
A refresher course is an easier solution. You can take it six months before your current certification expires. Refresher courses are just four hours long. They reiterate the most important safety info as well as introduce any new safety practices recently developed. Once you’ve completed the refresher course, you’ll remain certified for an additional five years.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Alabama
The Renovation, Repair and Painting program is a federal program designed to reduce safety risks associated with working around lead. States have two options for certification programs. The programs can be either directly controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency or run by individual states.
In Alabama, RRP programs are monitored and administered at the local level through the Alabama Lead Contractors Certification Program.
The state checks for two types of violations. You’ll be in trouble if caught working around lead without proper certification. But you can also be in trouble if you’re certified but aren’t following proper safety protocols.
Punishment for violations can be severe. Individuals or businesses can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines, work stoppage and even forced business closure.
Step to Becoming Lead Certified in Alabama
- Find an accredited training course near you using a website such as this one.
- Attend the training program and learn the proper safety protocols
- Pass the final exam
- Apply for certification through the EPA website
- Display certificate on job site
- Keep certification up-to-date with refresher courses
Helpful Links for Compliance in Alabama
Here are some helpful links for additional information on official lead abatement programs in Alabama. These resources can help you remain in compliance with all federal, state and local laws related to lead.
- Alabama Public Health RRP Contractors Certification
- Home Builders Association of Alabama Lead Paint Training
- University of Alabama Safe State Program
- EPA Lead Program
- EPA Class Locator by State
Do You Have Questions Related to Lead Certification in Alabama?
Lead is far too dangerous for guesswork. If you’re ever unsure about what certification you need or what safety protocols to follow, stop what you’re doing and find the right answer about how to proceed. Fortunately, finding the right answer is always easy because our team is here to help! Contact us by phone or email for quick answers to all of your lead and lead certification questions.