(WAVY) Are You a Welder Concerned About Lead in Your Workplace?

Asher TobinIn The News, Industrial Trades

A screen shot of WAVY news. At the top is the OSHA logo. A box below reads: "768 times the accepted OSHA lead limit of .005."

Take a look at this news story covering lead exposures at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia:

Investigating complaint of lead contamination at Norfolk Naval Shipyard

(10 on your side WAVY) Workers became sick and filed an OSHA complaint and the employer admitted that it did have a lead issue and failed to notify all personnel potentially exposed to airborne lead risks for 43 days. Nothing was done until a worker took the concerns into his own hands with some of his co-workers referring to him as a courageous whistleblower, “You don’t always have to stand tall, but sometimes you have to stand up. You got to say it’s enough.” The shipyard, despite having OSHA’s highest safety classification (Voluntary Protection Program Star Site), admitted that “due to the age of the shipyard” the presence of lead “should have been assumed.”

A zoomed in screen shot of a blood test showing high levels of lead

An example of a welder’s test results from an annual physical showed a 99 mcg/dL where a 0-49 is acceptable for Protoporphyrin Zinc (PPZ), which is a bi-product of lead exposure. That is two times the normal limit for PPZ.

Click on the links below to read more

OSHA Complaint 

Statement for WAVY TV-10 in response to query received November 6, 2017

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs Office

OSHA Complaints

OSHA requirements for lead 29 CFR 1910.1025