Lead can be used as a pure metal, combined with another metal to form an alloy, or in the form of a chemical compound. A primary use of lead in the U.S. is for automobile lead-acid storage batteries, a type of rechargeable electric battery which uses an almost pure lead alloy. Lead-formed alloys are typically found in ammunition, pipes, cable covering, building material, solder, radiation shielding, collapsible tubes, and fishing weights. Lead is also used in ceramic glazes and as a stabilizer in plastics.
Lead enters the body primarily through inhalation and ingestion. Today, adults are mainly exposed to lead by breathing in lead-containing dust or fumes at work, or from hobbies that involve lead. Lead passes through the lungs into the blood where it can harm many of the body’s organ systems. While inorganic lead does not readily enter the body through the skin, it can enter the body through accidental ingestion (eating, drinking, smoking) via contaminated hands, clothing or surfaces. Workers may develop a variety of ailments, such as neurological effects, gastrointestinal effects, anemia, and kidney disease.
Construction workers are exposed to lead during the removal, renovation, or demolition of structures painted with lead pigments. Workers may also be exposed during installation, maintenance, or demolition of lead pipes and fittings, lead linings in tanks and radiation protection, lead glass, work involving soldering, and other work involving lead or metal alloys. In general industry, workers come in contact with lead in solder, plumbing fixtures, rechargeable batteries, lead bullets, leaded glass, brass, or bronze objects, and radiators.
Lead is an important metal for many types of businesses and industrial processes. Lead is most often used in the manufacturing sector (e.g. manufacturing products containing lead) but worker exposure can also occur in other industry sectors including construction and wholesale trade.
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Poor choices at home could affect safety on the job.
There are many choices that we make outside of work that could cause major effects on not only yourself, but your co-workers as well. Whether it is safety related or lifestyle choices, many of them have repercussions that carry over from home to the workplace. It is important to realize how closely connected our personal and professional lives can be.
It’s Sunday night, so you and your friends make your way to the local bar to watch the football game and to have a few drinks. Before you know it, it is 1:00 a.m. and you have to be up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready for work, so you head home. Even though you only got a couple hours of sleep, you get up and make it to work on time. Starting your Monday morning off, you realize that you are still feeling the effects of alcohol and you are so tired that you can hardly stay awake.
YOU JUST PUT YOURSELF, YOUR CO-WORKERS & THE COMPANY AT RISK FOR SOME TYPE OF INJURY OR EVEN A POSSIBLE LOSS.
The police officer that lives next door to you has become extremely overweight that isn’t caused by a medical issue, but simply caused by him just not wanting to maintain his fitness routine. Even though he can still perform his duties, he performs at a much diminished capacity than what he use to. Making the choice to be sedentary outside of work could put himself and his fellow officers at risk for accidents or even fatalities.
You work the night shift at the local mill. You have 7 children to support other than yourself and your spouse. Money is tight and the bills keep piling up, so you decide to take on a second job during the day to try to make ends meet. A few weeks into this new routine, you start to realize how hard it is to get enough sleep before you have to be at work for your job as a forklift operator. That night, you start to fall asleep and end up striking a support beam that falls down on to a large shelving system. Most of the shelves collapse causing all the stored expensive computer components to fall to the floor. The company now faces a loss of over $400,000 and you’re facing termination. How will this affect your family, co-workers and company on a larger scale?
You do not owe your entire life to your job. You have the freedom to do as you please outside of work, but those choices you make could cause harm in many ways to yourself, your family, your co-workers & their families, and also to the company that you work for.