In the State of North Carolina, the Renovation, Repair and Painting program is managed across the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and other departments. North Carolina is one of the many states which have their EPA-authorized programs rather than being directly controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This program is designed to ensure that workers are operating safely in homes and buildings where there are likely to be lead hazards. Lead is a toxic metal, and when you come into contact with it, it can cause serious health problems. This problem is exacerbated because when walls are demolished the lead-paint becomes thin dust which can easily be inhaled.
To minimize this risk, it’s important that employees operate under strict protocols so that they aren’t inhaling the dust and it isn’t flowing out into the streams where it could harm civilians. As a result, it’s necessary for workers to become certified by the EPA.
Ready to get your Lead Paint Certification?
To become certified you must first attend a training course which is accredited by the EPA. Only after you have learned why lead is dangerous, how to minimize the risk and what paperwork to fill out, you can apply for a certificate which will give you the right to operate on these job sites and teach others on the job.
Do I Need Lead Certification in North Carolina?
According to the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule, which has been in place since 2010, one member of staff must be certified by the EPA. This individual is responsible for directing the work to ensure that everybody is operating safely.
In homes built before 1978, the year in which lead paint was banned, it’s safe to assume that the painted surfaces in the home contain lead and therefore a certified worker must be present. If you want to be this individual, you will need a lead certification in the State of North Carolina.
You will need to become certified if you’re a(n):
- Renovator: Renovators must complete the entire 8-hour training course, including passing the final examination which will entitle them to apply for certification from the EPA to work on these job sites. Renovators are often the only employee in the place who will be lead certified and therefore they must always be present and regularly directing work to ensure that others are operating safely.
- Contractors: Independent contractors who are going to work on homes and buildings that were built before 1978 will need a lead certificate to prove that they are trained to handle the job. Certified contractors must also ensure that the company they are contracting for is also certified by the EPA.
- Company/Firms: Businesses which are employing contractors, renovators and managers must ensure that they are following the RRP rules strictly. Not only that, but they must also become certified themselves. No training is needed, but you must complete an application through the EPA website, and you should keep the EPA certificate at the job site at all times.
- Home Owner: Despite it being a personal job on private property, you must still follow the RRP rules. A homeowner should only work on lead-painted surfaces if the indoor surface is less than six square feet or the outdoor surface is less than twenty square feet. For larger areas, the homeowner is required to contract a professional who is trained and holds an active certification from the EPA.
- Property Managers: Managers who are overseeing construction, renovation, repair or painting in houses which are likely to contain lead, must be certified themselves or have a staff member become certified to manage the process.
How to Become Certified in North Carolina
Before you are legally allowed to take the role you must first attend an accredited training program in the State of North Carolina, pass the exam and become certified by the EPA. Applications for certification should go through the EPA website where they will require proof that you completed the training successfully.
Can I Take a Refresher Course?
Certificates only last for five years, and once they expire, you will be required to start from scratch by attending the training course again and re-applying for certification. To prevent this from happening and to save yourself time and money, you can attend a refresher course which is a condensed version of the full training program.
Refresher courses last only 4-hours and they will allow you to apply for a new certificate. You must complete the refresher and ask for the original five-year certificate before the previous one expires. For this reason, it’s wise to ensure that you take the refresher course six months before the expiration date and apply for a new version shortly after you finish the program.
RRP Rule Enforcement in North Carolina
North Carolina has their lead abatement and RRP programs which are monitored and administered by government departments in North Carolina. For this reason, rule enforcement is done at a local level rather than by the EPA and Department of Justice as is done in other parts of the country.
Should you violate the RRP rules, either by operating without a certificate or for failing to conduct your work responsibly, you can be punished heavily. These punishments often include hefty fines which can total tens of thousands of dollars, lost jobs and closed businesses.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in North Carolina
- Discover more about the certification process and what the cost will be.
- Attend a training program which has been certified by the EPA as credible.
- Pass the training and final examination.
- Receive proof that you completed the training program.
- Apply for certification through the EPA website.
- Keep your certificates at the job site at all times.
Helpful Links for Compliance in North Carolina
To learn more about the problems that a lead hazard can cause, how North Carolina manages the issue and what you can do to become lead certified by the EPA, check out the following links:
Still, Have Questions About Lead Certification in North Carolina?
Lead certification is a relatively complex topic, and therefore it’s understandable that you might have more questions. Don’t hesitate, feel free to get in contact with our team and we will guide you through the process and answer any questions that you might have.