The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA usually controls each states Renovation, Repair and Painting programs from the federal level. However, Rhode Island is one of the few states which is authorized to monitor and enforce its programs because it has been able to show the government that it’s capable and willing to do whatever is necessary to follow the RRP ruling.
The RRP rule was enacted back in 2010, and it demands that at least one member of staff at each job site where there could be lead hazards, has specialized training and certification. The reason for this legal ruling was to protect people from the dangers that lead presents, including stomach pains, mental health problems, sickness, and fatigue.
Lead can be particularly harmful to children, causing long-term irreversible side effects that can harm their life prospects. To prevent these damages, it’s critical that the risks are managed carefully through thoughtful work, preparation and use of equipment.
Typically the most significant risk of lead exposure comes from lead-based paint. While illegal, before 1978 it was used extensively throughout commercial and residential buildings. As a result, when the paint chips the lead can turn into fine dust which you can inhale. This lead can be absorbed rapidly by the body, causing a spike in blood lead levels which is extremely dangerous.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Rhode Island?
According to the RRP rule which has been law since 2010, almost all renovators, contractors, businesses, managers and homeowners working on lead hazards will need to be certified. There are exceptions, but generally at least one person must be certified and responsible for managing the safety of the operation and therefore the health of those in the vicinity.
You will need to become certified if you’re a(n):
Renovator: To become certified as a renovator you will start by completing an accredited 8-hour training course, which involves extensive teaching about the dangers of lead and how to manage them. In the end, you’ll need to pass an examination and then apply for certification through the EPA website.
Home Owners: If you’re working on your own home and there is likely to be potential lead hazards, you might be required to hold a certificate. For areas inside the home which are more massive than six square feet and those outside the house which are twenty square feet or larger, you will need to be lead certified to operate.
Businesses: Companies which are planning to work on buildings which are likely to have lead hazards must become certified. Unlike individuals, there is no need for training. However, the business must still apply for and receive their certificate before work can begin on the job site.
Property Managers: As a professional manager it’s likely that you will spend much of your time overseeing construction projects which could involve lead. As a result, it’s necessary for you to become certified so that you can reduce the health risks associated with the work and help to protect your team.
Contractors: Most contractors will work on a variety of different projects throughout the year, often for various companies. As a result, you not only need to become certified yourself, you must also check to ensure that each of the businesses that you work for is lead certified for the projects that they are carrying out.
How to Become Certified in Rhode Island
Becoming certified in Rhode Island isn’t tricky. As an individual, it starts with finding an accredited program. There are many to choose from, but some aren’t certified by the EPA and are therefore entirely worthless. You want to find a program that is so that when you complete it, you will be able to take the proof to the EPA and ask for a certificate.
Each training course should be 8-hours long and will include a final examination which you must pass before you can be issued your certificate. Once you have completed the training, you will receive proof of your success, and you can then apply for a license to be mailed to your home through the EPA website. Remember, you can’t work until you have the certificate in your hand and on the job site.
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Can I Take a Refresher Course?
Each certificate only lasts for five years, and when it expires, you will be forced to start from the beginning and complete the eight hours of training again. To prevent this, the refresher course was created. This training is a four-hour course which costs far less and which can be completed before the expiration date of your certificate to enable you to apply for a replacement. To prevent yourself from tipping over the expiration date, it’s wise to complete the training well before this time.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Rhode Island
Unlike the vast majority of states, Rhode Island has complete control over its enforcement of the RRP rule. The result is that criminals can be punished at the state level by the local government, rather than by the Department of Justice and the EPA at the federal level. Failure to follow the RRP ruling can result in hefty fines, up to tens of thousands of dollars, and forced closure of businesses.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Rhode Island
- Attend an accredited training program
- Pass the final examination
- Apply for your certificate through the EPA website
- Keep the certificate on your job site at all times
Helpful Links for Compliance in Rhode Island
If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of lead, what Rhode Island is doing to tackle the problem, or about the RRP ruling, check out the following links:
Do You Still Have Questions About Lead Certification?
If you’re still confused and need some more help, feel free to get in contact with our team. Our experienced staff will be able to point you in the right direction and ensure that you are attending an accredited program that will enable you to become lead certified and follow the law.