Adult Lead For Employers

  • Your workers and their families can be affected by exposure to lead in your workplace.
  • Your employees are your company's most valuable asset.
  • Keep workers and their families safe by taking steps to protect them from lead exposure.

Protect your Workers from Lead

What You Can Do

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) webpage has a list on how to keep your workers safe from lead.

WisCon Services: The State of Wisconsin provides free occupational health consultation services to employers. The consultation staff includes industrial hygienists, engineers, and nurses who can evaluate and help you improve your hazard control measures for a safer work environment.

Talking to Your Employees About Lead

  • No amount of lead is safe, even for adults.
  • Because lead dust can be especially harmful to children and pregnant women, your employees also need to know how they can carry lead home.
  • Let your workers know if they work around lead, and that regular blood lead tests are important.
  • Plain language fact sheets for your workers in English and Spanish are in the Resources section below.

Women or Men Planning to Have a Child; Pregnant and Breastfeeding Workers

  • Pregnant workers need to know how to protect themselves when working near lead.
  • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should talk with their doctor about workplace lead exposure.
  • Men planning to father a child should talk with their doctor about workplace lead exposure.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Lead Standard states that "the physician may recommend special protective measures or medical removal for an employee who is pregnant or who is planning to conceive a child when, in the physician’s judgment, continued exposure to lead at the current job would pose a significant risk." For more information see Appendix C of the OSHA Lead Standard.
  • Working mothers who are exposed to lead while breastfeeding should talk to their pediatrician to decide if they should have their blood lead level (BLL) tested.

See Resources section below for more information about lead and pregnant/breastfeeding workers, including men's and women's reproductive health.

Health and Safety Requirements

Wisconsin Law on Notifying Employers
  • Wisconsin Stat. § 254 requires that the results of all Wisconsin residents’ blood tests for lead are reported to the Department of Health Services.
  • Our department follows up on adults who have a high result, also known as an elevated blood lead level (BLL) test. Many adults with a high level of lead in their blood came in contact with lead at work.
  • We report employee test results to an employer and ask the employer for additional information if a blood lead level test is significantly elevated, measured at 40 µg/dL or higher (read µg/dL as “micrograms per deciliter”).
OSHA Lead Standard for General Industry Summary Table

This table (P-01802) contains general guidelines about medical surveillance, employee notification of test results, medical removal, compliance methods, air monitoring, and employee training. It is not a substitute for the complete OSHA Lead Standards: for general industry and for construction.

Resources

Wisconsin Resources

Keep Your Family Safe. Don't Bring Home Lead from Your Job, P-01737 (PDF) - This fact sheet for workers is available in English and Spanish, and describes how workers might bring lead home from their job and how to prevent take-home exposures.

Lead and Your Health, P-01738 (PDF) . Fact sheet overview for workers in English and Spanish.

Protecting Shipworkers from Lead, P-01625 (PDF) - This infographic outlines how shipworkers can stay safe on the job.

WisCON free consultation program for employers. Industrial hygienists, engineers, and nurses can evaluate and help you improve your hazard control measures for a safer work environment.

NIOSH/CDC Resources

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lead Page for Employers. NIOSH is the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that studies workplace safety and health. Its mission is research (not regulation).

NIOSH’s Reproductive Health Lead Page- Information on pregnancy and breastfeeding for women working with lead, and other topics. A related page describes lead's reproductive health effects for men.

Call or contact CDC-INFO at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or at https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form for questions about lead in the workplace.

NIOSH has a free Health Hazard Evaluation program. Employers, employees, or union officials can request an evaluation of possible health hazards associated with a job or workplace.

Other State Resources

New Jersey Right to Know Program Lead Fact Sheet. Useful summary of facts to know about handling lead and lead products in the workplace. New Jersey Right to Know Program Lead Fact Sheet (Spanish).

Contact us about the Wisconsin Adult Lead Program.
Email: dhsocchealth@dhs.wisconsin.gov
Phone: 608-266-1120

Last Revised: December 2, 2019