Lead Aware Times

Lead Aware Times Volume 1 No. 1 ( ISSN 1440-4966)

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Leichhardt's Breakthrough
A Model Condition for all Councils to use for Building Consents

By Elizabeth O’Brien, Manager, Lead Advisory Service (LAS) NSW

Leichhardt Council has recognised it’s responsibilities in the area of Building and Development Consents and has shown what can be done by an informed and committed Council.

As a result of problems experienced with a Building Application and issues raised by residents in respect of lead contamination, Council employed a consultant to devise a standard condition for building works to be provided on all future Building and Development Consents.

Residents of Leichhardt have contacted the Lead Advisory Service to thank Councillor Neil Macindoe, Stuart McDonald (the Director of Environmental Management) and Graham Foster (General Manager) for all the hard work they put into organising a new lead-aware Demolition Condition.

Other lead-aware initiatives of Leichhardt Council that pleased residents were a move to have all children’s playgrounds assessed for lead and a new policy on stopping works where sanding / grinding or water-blasting was being carried out on pre-1970 buildings without containment or HEPA vacuuming.

Unfortunately Leichhardt Council could not put into its policies that you should use licensed or approved contractors, because there is no system for the approval or licensing of lead abatement contractors or lead assessors (see Topic 8: Hiring a Lead Safe Contractor).

Leichhardt’s Standard Condition for Lead-Safe Demolition Work

Unless tested by a person with suitable experience and expertise and shown to be otherwise, buildings constructed before 1970 are assumed to:

  • - Have accumulated hazardous amounts of fine lead dust in ceiling and wall cavities: and
  • - Contain components and surfaces coated with lead paint.

Demolition is to be conducted in strict accordance with, but not limited to, sections 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 3.1 and 3.9 of the Australian Standard 2601 – 1991, demolition of structures. The following measures must be undertaken:-

  1. Prior to the demolition the applicant shall submit a Work Plan prepared in accordance with AS 2601 by a person with suitable expertise and experience. The Work Plan should outline the identification of any hazardous materials, method of demolition, the precautions to be employed to minimise any dust nuisance and the disposal methods for hazardous materials.
  2. Hazardous dust must not be allowed to escape from the site, the use of fine mesh dust proof screens or other measures is recommended.
  3. All contractors and employees directly involved in the removal of hazardous dusts and substances shall wear protective equipment conforming to Australian Standard 1716 Respiratory Protective Devices and shall adopt work practices in accordance with the requirements of WorkSafe Australia Standard "Control of Inorganic Lead At Work (NOHSC: 1012 (1994) and NOHSC: 2015 (1994))".
  4. Any existing accumulations of dust (e.g.; ceiling voids and wall cavities) must be removed by the use of an industrial vacuum fitted with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  5. All dusty surfaces and dust created from work is to be suppressed by a fine water spray. Water must not be allowed to enter the street and stormwater systems.
  6. Demolition is not to be performed during high winds, which may cause dust to spread beyond the site boundaries.
  7. Demolition work may be undertaken by hand tools or machinery. If heavy machinery is to be used, work practices must comply with item (1), greater care.
  8. All lead-contaminated materials are to be disposed of in accordance with the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s requirements.
  9. Following demolition activities, soil must be tested by a person with suitable expertise, to ensure the soil lead levels are below acceptable health criteria for residential areas. Full certification is to be provided to Council prior to final inspection. This Condition is to ensure the safety and health of occupants and visitors to the premises and for the protection of the environment.

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Last Updated 19 April 2012
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