Like the majority of the states in the country, New Mexico is not authorized to carry out their RRP programs, and therefore they are controlled directly by the Environmental Protection Agency. The RRP or Renovation, Repair and Painting programs help to protect citizens from the dangers of lead, particularly in the form of lead-based paints which were legal until 1978.
The use of lead-based paint was made illegal because of the dangers they presented, namely stomach cramps, sickness, fatigue, and mental issues. However, much of it is still present in homes and commercial buildings that were created before 1978 and therefore it’s important for workers to train in how they can reduce the dangers of lead.
To minimize this risk, there are strict protocols which must be consistently followed. These are designed not only to protect the workers, but also those who are nearby. For this reason, you can’t let the lead dust flow straight out into the streets where passing children might be forced to inhale it.
Do I Need Lead Certification in New Mexico?
The dangers of lead are very real and the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which has been a legal requirement since 2010, demands that at least one member of staff must be certified on the job site. This person will be required to maintain the safety of all employees and those nearby the building by enforcing strict operating procedures and teaching coworkers on the job to minimize their exposure to the lead.
You will be required to become certified if you’re a(n):
Contractor: Independent workers who are contracting on construction and painting jobs are still required to earn a certificate from the EPA if you’re working on older buildings. Similarly, as a contractor, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employers also have the required certificates to operate legally on buildings constructed before 1978.
Renovators: As a renovator, you are arguably at the greatest risk of exposure to lead, which is why it’s particularly important for you to undergo the required 8-hour training course, pass the examination and become certified through the EPA. This training material will allow you to protect yourself and your team while avoiding legal ramifications for breaking the law.
Businesses: Companies which are working on buildings that were constructed before 1978 will also need to get a certificate through the EPA. Of course, there is no need for the business to do the training, but it must still apply for the certificate online.
Home Owners: As a homeowner, if you’re working on areas larger than six square feet inside of your home, you must become certified. Otherwise, you’ll be required to hire a contractor or renovator who can perform the work for you. While outdoor surfaces can be up to twenty square feet before you are legally required to complete the same training procedures as a contractor.
Property Managers: Professional managers whose job it is to oversee construction and renovation are likely to need to become certified so that they can ensure the environment is safe for their workers.
How to Become Certified in New Mexico
Earning your certification in New Mexico shouldn’t be overly complicated. To start with, you’ll need to complete an 8-hour training course, which will teach you everything you need to know about protecting your health. You’ll be able to do an examination, which when passed will give you the necessary proof that you need to become certified through the EPA website.
The entire process is relatively painless and shouldn’t cost you a lot of money either. Plus, once you’ve earned your certificate, it will allow you to work on projects with potential lead hazards for up to five years.
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Can I Take a Refresher Course?
After five years your certificate will expire. If it does eventually expire, then you will have to start from scratch, going through the entire eight-hour course again and then applying for another certificate. To prevent this, you need to complete a shorter four-hour refresher course a few months before your expiry date so that you can apply for a fresh certificate.
Not only does this save you a lot of time, but it will also save you money because refresher courses tend to be significantly cheaper the original training programs. Plus, a refresher course will give you a new five-year certificate so that you can continue to work on jobs with potential lead hazards for half a decade longer.
RRP Rule Enforcement in New Mexico?
Unlike some states, New Mexico is not authorized to control its RRP programs, and therefore the enforcement of the RRP rule is done at the federal level by the EPA and the Department of Justice. Violating these rules is a serious crime that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Not only can failing to follow these rules result in the forced closure of the businesses that you run, but it can also lead to personal fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. To prevent this, it’s critical that you attend an accredited training program and become certified before starting work on these types of jobs.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in New Mexico
- Find a local accredited training program
- Complete the full 8-hour course
- Pass the final examination
- Obtain proof of your success
- Apply for certification through the EPA website
- Keep your certificate at the job site whenever you are working
Helpful Links for Compliance in New Mexico
To learn more about the dangers that it can present not only to those on the job site but to those nearby, consider checking out the following links. Plus, you can also discover more about how the State of New Mexico tackles the lead crisis to protect its citizens.
Do You Still Have Questions About Lead Certification in New Mexico?
Becoming certified can sometimes be confusing and becomes it’s so critical, it’s important for you to understand what’s going on. If you have any questions, feel free to get into contact with us, and we’ll lead you in the right direction to ensure that you attend an accredited training program so that you can become certified.