Don’t let our beautiful environment fool you; Alaska, like all other states, still has issues with lead. Lead-based paints pose the biggest dangers. Unfortunately, even though lead paint was made illegal in 1978, it’s still in many homes and buildings throughout The Last Frontier.
The Renovation, Repair and Painting program is a federal program designed to help protect all Americans from the dangers of lead. A major aspect of the RRP is the establishment of protocols regarding any work done around lead-based paint. According to RRP requirements, at least one member of any construction or renovation team working around lead-based paint must have lead certification from the EPA.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Alaska?
At least one lead certified individual must be on the job site whenever any work occurs. This person is responsible for maintaining safe working conditions and ensuring all workers understand proper safety practices.
The following people are required to obtain lead certification:
- Contractors: The EPA requires certification for any independent contractors hired for construction or painting jobs on any buildings built before 1978. Additionally, the contractor is responsible for ensuring appropriate certification of all workers and employers as applicable.
- Renovators: Renovators are typically on-site more than any other workers. Becoming certified is more than simply a legal requirement. It’s also the best way to learn how to stay safe on the job.
- Home Owners: You’ll need certification if you’re working on any interior area larger than six square feet. You’ll also need certification if you’re working on outdoor surfaces larger than 20 square feet. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a certified contractor or renovator.
- Property Managers: Even if you’re not physically performing the work yourself, you’ll need certification to oversee construction, renovation, and other work. As the property manager, you’re responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all workers.
- Businesses/Companies: Any commercial organization responsible for renovation on a building constructed before 1978 must be certified. An organization doesn’t have to undergo training. Instead, the business must apply for certification online.
How to Become Certified in Alaska
Time is money. You’d rather be working than sitting through certification training. Fortunately, the lead certification process in AL is usually simple and straight-forward.
First, you’ll need to complete a training course. The course will cover potential dangers, proper safety practices, how to avoid environmental damage and more. The course will likely have a lot of hands-on training so you can learn specific techniques to use on the job site.
Most training courses typically last about eight hours. They’re available throughout the week and often on Saturdays, too.
At the end of the course, you’ll take an official test. It’ll have anywhere from 25 to 100 questions. You’ll need to get at least 70 percent of the questions correct to pass. If you don’t pass, you can retake the test right away.
Once you’ve passed the test, you’re ready to be certified via the EPA website. After logging into the website, you’ll need to input proof you’ve passed the test. Your instructor will provide this information. Your certification lasts for five years.
Don’t risk fines! Get your Lead Paint Certification now!
Can I Take a Lead Certification Refresher Course?
Your lead certification will expire after five years. If you’re a homeowner, renewal might not be necessary. But contractors and other professionals shouldn’t let their certification expire.
If it does, you’ll have to retake the course and test, and then reapply through the EPA website. Not only does this mean you have to pay for the course again, but sitting through the eight-hour course a second time can be pretty dull. After all, you should already be familiar with the basics.
Fortunately, there’s an easier way. Refresher courses are available. They’re just four hours and much cheaper than the original course. Completing a refresher course extends your certification for another five years.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Alaska
Alaska does not oversee RRP programs at the local level. Instead, enforcement of RRP rules is conducted federally by the EPA and the Department of Justice. Because lead poses such serious dangers, enforcement of RRP rules is strict and punishments for violations severe.
Working around lead without proper certification, even in your own home, can be a serious federal crime. Your business will almost certainly be shut down. You might even face personal fines worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Even with certification you still need to be careful. Failing to follow proper safety protocols can result in the same punishments listed above plus you’ll likely lose your certification, too.
Once certified, you’re responsible for the safe working conditions of everyone on the job site. If someone else – even a worker you didn’t directly hire – violates RRP rules, you’ll face serious repercussions.
Six Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Alaska
Remember, these programs are designed to protect people from serious medical problems. The federal government wants people to stay safe, so certification is designed to be as hassle-free as possible. You can become lead certified in just six simple steps:
- Use a website (such as this one) to find an accredited training program near you
- Complete the eight-hour course including all hands-on projects
- Pass the 25 to 100 question EPA-administered exam
- Obtain proof you’ve passed the exam (your instructor will help with this)
- Apply for certification through the EPA website
- Display your certificate at the job site during all working hours
Looking for Official Websites Related to Compliance in Alaska?
Because Alaska runs their certification programs through the EPA, state-based resources are scarce. Instead, federal websites are typically the most helpful source of information on lead compliance in Alaska.
Do You Still Have Questions About Alaska Lead Certification?
Lead abatement and certification can be complex topics. Most people will have additional questions about certification, proper safety protocols, and related issues. Never guess about how to work around lead safely! The potential dangers are too great if you guess wrong.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or contact us online. Our expert team is ready to help you navigate Alaska’s certification process and help you stay safe (and legal) on the job site.