Across the country lead has been used in paint and other building materials for decades. Lead is incredibly toxic, and when people are exposed to it, they can experience severe health problems, especially if they are young and their brains are still developing.
While children are unlikely to ever be near the building site, it’s possible for dust to stick to the workers clothing, which can be inhaled by their children when they get home from work. Understanding how to minimize the risk to the workers, their families and surrounding civilians is not only a moral responsibility but a federal requirement.
As of 2010, the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP) is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency across the nation. This rule requires all workers and firms operating in buildings with lead hazards to be certified. For individuals, this means extensive training and examination to ensure that they are capable of working in these environments.
Ready to get your Lead Paint Certification?
Currently, the majority of states operate their lead-paint abatement programs which are authorized by the EPA, one of which is Tennessee. As well as following the federal guidelines and rules, the State of Tennessee has its protocols and certifications which workers and firms must be careful to follow.
Not only is it against federal rules to work without one of these certificates, but it’s also a violation of state law, both of which will be prosecuted by fines, bans and possibly even jail time. It’s vital that you follow the guidelines and earn your lead certification from an accredited program in the State of Tennessee.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Tennessee?
Projects which involve a lead hazard typically come under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule. Most of the lead hazards existing in homes and buildings are in the form of lead paint which is most harmful when it is turned into dust when the paint is removed, or the wall is demolished.
This lead dust can easily be inhaled, and it will spread in the air to those outside of the building site. To control this risk and reduce the harm to the population, strict protocols must be followed. As such, renovators and firms are required by state and federal law to be trained and certified.
You will need to become certified if you’re a(n):
- Contractor: All contractors working on sites with potential lead hazards must earn their lead certification. This process involves RRP training that is authorized by the EPA and a final examination. Contractors must also ensure that they are only working for companies which are also certified by the State of Tennessee to work with lead hazards.
- Company: Although no training is required for the company and their non-construction employees, they are required to apply for a company license. This certification is processed by the EPA through their website and is necessary for the company to start working on lead-paint walls with their specialized contractors.
- Home Owner: If a homeowner wishes to demolition or work on their lead-paint covered walls they must also follow the regulations. Areas inside which are smaller than six square feet and walls outside smaller than twenty square feet are allowed to be renovated without certification. Above this size, the individual either needs a certificate themselves or they should contact a certified professional to consult on the project.
- Renovator: They must undergo training with a professionally accredited program in the State of Tennessee, before applying for certification from the EPA.
How to Become Certified in Tennessee
In the State of Tennessee, before you can begin to work on lead-paint walling, you must have completed training and received a certification from the EPA, which you must keep at the work site. This training must be done with an approved program and once passed you can apply for the certificate through the EPA website.
Can I Take a Refresher Course?
Once you pass your initial examination, you will receive a certificate that allows you to practice for five years. When this expires, you will no longer be able to continue working with lead hazards. Should it expire, you will need to start from scratch, going through the entire process and training program again to receive another certificate.
To prevent this from happening you must attend a refresher course which is a condensed, cheaper and quicker version of the training and examination. This refresher course must be completed before your initial certificate expires and upon completion, it will extend your license for another five years.
The process of completing these refresher courses, applying for the certificate and being approved can take weeks or months. To prevent you from missing time at work or breaking the law, you should start the process months before your certificate expires.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Tennessee
As one of the states that have their lead abatement programs, enforcement is done by the State of Tennessee. However, federal law also governs the issue, meaning that the Department of Justice would be able to fine or punish you in how they deem fit.
Working on lead-paint walling, even if you have training and are certified, is illegal if your certificate has expired. You must always have a valid license, and you should have it at the work site so that it can be checked at any time.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Tennessee
- Attend a training program, most of which will last 8-hours and will teach you how to work safely with lead-paint and other potential hazards.
- Pass the final examination.
- Apply for your certificate through the EPA website and pay the related fees.
- Keep your certificate with you at each work site whenever you are there.
Helpful Links for Compliance in Tennessee
If you’d like to learn more about lead certification, the dangers of lead and how the State of Tennessee governs, feel free to visit the following links:
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
Understanding Lead – Tennessee
Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home
Still, Have Questions About Lead Certification in Tennessee?
If you have any further questions, we’re always here to help. Please get in contact with us, and we can assist you further or guide you through the process to show you how you can become certified in the State of Tennessee.