1. Australia
  2. 3M Safety
  3. Safety Stories
  4. Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 69.
3M Safety


  • share

    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 69.

    March 05, 2020



    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 69:
    Lead in the Workplace.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 69:
    Lead in the Workplace.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 69:
    Lead in the Workplace.

    In this episode, Nigel Johnson, managing director of Property Risk Australia joins us to discuss lead in the workplace and the associated health risks and effects from exposure.

    Throughout time lead has been an extremely beneficial metal, although it has also been toxic to humans. Before its recognition as a highly poisonous substance lead was used extensively in a wide variety of products and applications. Although phased out, many countries still allow the sale of products that expose humans to lead. As a result, it continues to pose a public health risk.




    Guest Bio:

    Nigel Johnson (pictured left) is a Licensed Asbestos Assessor with more than 20 years of experience in asbestos, occupational hygiene, environment and health and safety.

    Nigel has worked in consulting across commercial and residential high rise, gas works, remediation sites, ships/vessels, schools, hospitals, houses, industrial plants and shopping centres in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, TAS, WA, New Zealand and Singapore.

    Nigel is also the Managing Director of Property Risk Australia (PRA) and President of the newly formed Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA).

    LinkedIn Profile

    In this episode, Mark & Nigel discuss the following:

    • What is lead?
    • What types of products was lead used in historically?
    • How might people, on an off the job, be exposed to lead today?
    • What are the health risks associated with lead?
    • What are the common routes of exposure to lead?
    • What legislation and regulations address these lead risks and exposures?
    • How does a workplace monitor or check for potential lead exposure?
    • Is there an exposure standard?
    • Lead in paint is a very common thing in older houses and buildings, why was lead added to paint?
    • How do you check if some paint may contain lead?
    • Is lead in paint still allowed today?
    • What are the types of things that building owners or facility managers should be doing to manage their risk of lead-containing paint in their buildings or assets?
    • Would this be the same for someone who may be renovating their house and they have lead-containing paint?
    • In other workplaces and with other types of lead exposures, what type of controls should they be considering?
    • Are there Australian standards related to lead?
    • Where can the listeners go and get further information about lead and its associated risks?

    Lead is a neurotoxin that collects within the body through ingestion, inhalation and absorption. It stores in soft tissues and bones and builds up over time, damaging the central nervous system. It interferes with the function of biological enzymes, causing neurological disorders, such as brain damage and behavioural problems (particularly in children). High levels of lead in the body can also lead to convulsions, coma and even death. Whether in industrial, commercial or residential settings lead poisoning is a potential threat. It is vital to know if the hazard is present or not, to what extent, and to determine the best course of action to reduce any risks of exposure to yourself, those around you and the environment. Tune in as we look at lead and explore how to identify, manage and minimise dangers in the home or workplace.


    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.