OSHA Monday called for comments on its lead-in-construction standard, which requires testing for lead exposures, provisions to protect workers from exposure where lead is present, and medical monitoring of exposed workers.

The agency is conducting its regulatory review of the lead-in-construction standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 to determine if the standard is needed and if it should be amended.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jonathan L. Snare said the review “requests comments as to the necessity for the agency to modify this standard to make implementation more practical, reduce the regulatory burden on small business, and improve its effectiveness, while still protecting worker health."

The construction industry employs millions of workers in jobs where lead exposures are most likely to occur, says OSHA, such as paint removal, building and bridge renovation, plumbing, and water system repair and replacement. Overexposure to lead can cause serious damage to the body's blood-forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. OSHA's lead-in-construction standard establishes procedures for minimizing the level of exposure to lead for all workers covered.

Public comments are welcome and must be sent in triplicate by Sept. 6, 2005, to Docket Office, Docket No. H023, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments may also be faxed to (202) 693-1648, or submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov or http://ecomments.osha.gov.