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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)

Regulations

Lead Regulations, 2001

8. Medical surveillance

 

(1) An employer shall ensure that an employee is under the medical surveillance of an occupational medicine practitioner if—
(a) the employee is exposed to an airborne lead concentration exceeding the OEL;
(b) the employee is exposed to tetra-alkyl lead; or
(c) an occupational medicine practitioner certifies that the relevant employee should be under medical surveillance.

 

(2) In order to comply with subregulation (11, an employer shall ensure that—
(a) an initial medical examination comprising of the following is carried out immediately before or within 14 days after a person commences employment:
(i) An evaluation of the employee's medical and occupational history;
(ii) clinical examinations; and
(iii) in the case of lead other than tetra-alkyl lead, measurement of the employee's blood lead and haemoglobin concentrations and other relevant biological tests at the discretion of the occupational medicine practitioner: Provided that the measurement of blood lead concentrations shall be repeated during the third and the sixth month after commencement of employment: Provided further that when monitoring of zinc protoporphyrine (ZPP) in blood expressed in µg ZPP/g haemoglobin is performed at intervals not exceeding two months, only annual blood lead concentration measurements are required;
(b) subject to the provisions of subregulation (2)(a)(iii), biological monitoring consisting of the following is carried out:
(i) Measurement of blood lead concentration for employees exposed to lead other than tetra-alkyl lead, at intervals as prescribed in the Table contained in Annexure A to these Regulations: Provided that in the case of female employees who are capable of procreation, all such measurements are carried out at three-monthly intervals;
(ii) immediate measurement of urinary lead concentration for employees exposed to tetra-alkyl lead and thereafter at intervals as prescribed in the Table contained in Annexure B to these Regulations;
(c) clinical examinations and relevant biological tests are carried out at the discretion of the occupational medicine practitioner;
(d) where the blood lead concentration of an employee exposed to lead other than tetra-alkyl lead, is equal to or greater than 60 µg/100ml, the test is repeated, and if the result of the repeated test corrected for the haematocrit value, with reference to a standard value of 43% for men and 38% for women, is greater than 60 µg/100ml, that the employee is certified to be unfit for work in an area where he or she is exposed to lead: Provided that the occupational medicine practitioner. if he or she deems it necessary, may certify an employee who has a blood lead concentration of less than 60 µg/100ml to be unfit for work in an area in which he or she is exposed to lead: Provided further that the removal blood lead level of 60 µg/100ml may be phased-in by reducing the level from 80µg/100ml to 75µg/100ml with effect from 30 June 2002, and then by a further 5 µg/100ml every twelve months thereafter in order to reach 60 µg/100ml by 30 June 2005, as depicted in the Table contained in Annexure C to these Regulations.
(e) where the urinary lead concentration of an employee exposed to tetra-alkyl lead is equal to or greater than 150 µg/l, the test is repeated, and if the result of the repeated test is greater that 150 µg/l, that the employee is certified to be unfit for work in an area in which he or she is exposed to lead: Provided that the occupational medicine practitioner, if he or she deems it necessary, may certify an employee who has a urinary lead concentration of less than 150 µg/l to be unfit for work in an area in which he or she is exposed to lead; and
(f) where the ZPP value in the blood of an employee who is exposed to lead other than tetra-alkyl lead, is equal to or greater than 10 µg ZPP/g haemoglobin, the blood lead shall be measured as contemplated in subregulation 2(d):  Provided that the occupational medicine practitioner, if he or she deems it necessary, may certify an employee who has a ZPP value of less than 10 µg/g haemoglobin, but higher than 8 µg ZPP per gram haemoglobin in his or her blood, to be unfit for work in an area in which he or she is exposed to lead.

 

(3) An employer shall ensure that no employee certified by the occupational medicine practitioner to be unfit for work in an area which exposes him or her to lead, returns to work until—
(a) the occupational medicine practitioner certifies in writing that the employee is fit for such work;
(b) the employee's blood lead concentration is less than 50 µg/100ml : Provided that the return blood lead level of 50 µg/100 ml may be phased-in by reducing the level from 70 µg/100ml to 65 µg/100ml with effect from 30 June 2002, and then by a further 5 µg/100ml every twelve months thereafter in order to reach 50 µg/100ml by 30 June 2005, as depicted in the Table contained in Annexure D to these Regulations;
(c) the ZPP value in the blood of the employee is less than 6 µg/g haemoglobin; or
(d) the employee's urinary lead concentration is less than 130 µg/l.

 

(4) An employer shall ensure that—
(a) a female employee who is capable of procreation and who carries out work that exposes her to lead, is removed from such work when her blood lead concentration exceeds 40 µg/100 ml or her urinary lead concentration exceeds 75 µg/l, or if she falls pregnant; and
(b) the employee contemplated in subregulation (4)(a) is not permitted to return to work that will expose her to lead unless her blood lead concentration is less than 30 µg/100ml or her urinary lead concentration is less than 65 µg/l, or, where the removal was due to pregnancy, the employee is no longer pregnant.

 

(5) Where it is found that an employee had to be removed from his or her workplace owing to the previsions of subregulations (2)(d), (2)(e), (2(f) and (4)(a), the employer shall record and investigate the incident in accordance with regulation 8 of the General Administrative Regulations.