Lead Paint Content Surveys

Blakeney Leigh offer now offer HSE compliant lead paint sampling service.

Using the latest Niton XL2 100g Analyser we can provide clients and contractors guidance on the level of risk contained within painted surfaces across their project.

The inherent advantage of XRF-i lead surveys is the ability to distinguish high and low/no risk areas in order to gain cost and programme advantages.

Our sampling and location report gives you and your workers detailed information on the lead content in and around their working area.

The Legislation:

The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, (known as ‘CLAW’), came into force on 21st November 2002. CLAW 2002 contains the provisions of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980 and 1998 (now revoked).

The importance of CLAW compliance can be best appreciated with an understanding of what is considered to be ‘significant’ exposure, as defined in the Regulations:

“significant” in relation to exposure to lead means exposure in the following circumstances (a) where any employee is or is liable to be exposed to a concentration of lead in the atmosphere exceeding half the occupational exposure limit for lead; (b) where there is a substantial risk of any employee ingesting lead;

The CLAW ACoP explains: “Lead can be present in two forms: fume, generated at temperatures greater than 500°C, and dust. Occupational exposure to lead is dependent not only on the concentrations of lead in workplace air but also on the personal hygiene and personal habits of the worker.

Any construction work or process involving lead which produces dust or fume can result in inhalation of lead, e.g. cutting, grinding, sanding, paint stripping and burning. However, every process/job involving lead (and its compounds) in any way can also give rise to exposure by ingestion.

Employers Duty

Employers have a duty, so far as reasonably practicable, to protect any person likely to be affected by work involving lead or substances or materials containing it. As well as their own employees, this includes:

(a)  other workers, including those employed by another employer not engaged on work with lead, such as scaffolders, maintenance staff, cleaners etc.

(b)  visitors to the worksite;

(c)  families of those who are exposed to lead at work and who may be affected by lead carried home unintentionally on clothing and footwear;

(d)  occupiers present in buildings where work is going on around them.


 How to ensure your compliance

For high volume, low cost-per-sample ‘screening’ applications the standard equipment for lead paint survey work is a handheld XRF-i (X-Ray Fluorescence isotope) instrument. These devices have emerged as the technology of choice for surveys of the ‘buried’ lead in paint that is so widespread. The best instruments match the accreditation standards required of specialist ‘bricks-and¬-mortar’ lead laboratories.

Because 100s (sometimes 1000+) of XRF-i readings, in mass/area units (μg /cm2), can be taken during the course of a day there is no more cost-effective way of evaluating the location and extent of lead paint hazards, wherever they may exist. And the ‘interactive’ nature of its use allows a more dynamic and complete approach for risk assessment purposes.


The HSE’s position on non-compliance is very clear:
“…where we discover that employers are failing in this duty (to protect employees from exposure to lead) we can and will take action.”





020 8777 7700

Blakeney Leigh Ltd
Head Office
3 Sherman Walk
SE10 0YJ


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