Technical Guidance

Control of Lead at Work

Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002

This revised Code of Practice has been approved by the Health and Safety Commision with the consent of the Secretary of State and gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. If you follow this advice you will be doing enough to comply with the law however alternative methods may still be used.

The Code has special legal status. If you are prosecuted for breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that the relevant provisions of the Code were not followed, you will need to show that you have complied with the law in some other way or a court will find you at fault.

The Regulations apply to any type of work activity which is liable to expose employees and any other person to lead
as defined in Regulation 2, i.e. to:

(a) metallic lead, its alloys and all its compounds including lead alkyls; and
(b) lead when it is a component of any substance or material

Summary of the main changes:

In addition to certain definitions being inserted or amended;

Regulation 5 on assessment has been substantially revised to require that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the
risks created by working with lead is made and that steps taken to meet the requirements are made and implemented.

Regulation 6 has been substantially extended with a specific requirement to prevent exposure to lead by substituting a
substance or process which eliminates or reduces the risk to the health of employees.

A list of control measures for lead to be applied in order has been inserted.

A requirement to identify reasons and to take immediate steps when the occupational exposure for lead is exceeded
has been added.

Regulation 8 now has new requirements inserted relating to the use of personal protective equipment.

Regulations 9 & 10 contain new requirements for the monitoring and recording of exposure and blood-lead
concentration levels.

Regulation 11 on information, instruction and training has been extended.

Does this apply to roofing work?

Whilst lead has been used extensively for many years for all types of roof weather proofing, from flat roof and gutters through to flashings and soakers, the handling of lead can lead to ingestion particularly on small sites or jobs where adequate washing facilities are not readily available or used. Even smoking when working with lead increases the risk of exposure as lead contamination is transferred from the fingers, to the cigarette and then to the mouth. The risk is further increased with hand rolled cigarettes. When lead is welded and reaches temperatures of 500 C, it begins to fume and this can significantly increase the risk of exposure through inhalation.

What can I do about it?

A copy of ‘Control of lead at work’ can be obtained from HSE books and all of the requirements and regulations followed.#

In accordance with Regulation 6, there are now many alternative, cost effective roofing products and accessories available that can significantly reduce the amount of lead used and handled on site or even eliminate it altogether. Hambleside Danelaw is just one such company. Please do not hesitate to contacts us for details of our range of products.

Further Information

Take a look at our technical guidance for dry fix on our website, we also have a dedicated team to help with queries regarding our products, get in touch with them at To further support roofing contractors, this year we launched Hambleside Danelaw Hub where learners can develop their skillset.

Technical Guidance

Hambleside Danelaw’s Technical Guidance series is devoted to helping contractors and developers with relevant information from broad topics like condensation, to more specific information detailing key products for use on the roof. All previous articles can be found in the news section of our website.