Being in compliance with the EPA’s RRP (Repair, Renovate, Paint) Laws requires planning; creating systems in advance of doing the work. Contractors employing precise planning strategies deliver safer and more economically friendly jobs to their customers and much more profitable jobs to themselves. Unfortunately, not every contractor complies with these strict laws, and to make sense of these laws can be often complicated. In the state of Massachusetts alone, 19 fines were delivered for improper lead safety practices or for actions that disturbed lead paint without certification. One of these fines was even delivered on the island of Nantucket! Over land or over sea, the risk of getting a fine is always there. Although there is a risk, of these 19 fines, 5 were handed out in the same day. Sporadic enforcement still plagues the remodeling industry, it is putting employers, employees and residents at a huge risk.
Tips for Following Lead Safe Practices
Tip #1: The Customer Interview: Have a conversation with the prospective customer, ask questions. Your more likely to loose a customer not talking about lead than gain a customer while talking about lead. A little information goes a long way. Customers want to know if you know your stuff. If contractors are certified they should be more than happy to talk about disturbing the lead. In short, don’t be afraid to talk about the lead!
Tip #2: Build a Lead Testing Briefcase: Arm yourself with a lead testing briefcase ready at all times. This is an all-inclusive kit containing everything you need for the test from start to finish. This will save you tons of time and also allow you to complete an accurate job every time. having to look for supplies at a job site looks highly unprofessional.
Tip #3: Carry a Container With All Required Documentation: This contains of all the forms required by the RRP Law to have on the jobsite. On the right is an example of a kit A&A Services (Salem, MA) uses in their day to day operations. They arm every truck in the fleet with this rugged container capable of taking a pounding over the long haul. This may sound simple, but wouldn’t it be awful to be fined simply because you forgot your required documentation?
Tip #4: Create an RRP “Supply Bin”: Have an RRP “Bin” back at home base filled and ready to load into the truck. Be sure to reload it after each and every job. Supply the RRP bin with everything you need to complete the job plus extras. At A&A Services (Salem, MA) they make a list of all the supplies and note what they use. Note how an inventory list is taped right underneath the lid.
Tip #5 – Become a “Systems” Guy: If you haven’t sensed an overall theme to this blog entry, it is that having various systems in place that help you perform day-to-day activities with lots of moving parts is absolutely critical to success as a contractor. Being able to move rapidly and professionally in a competitive work environment separates contractors who get fined and contractors who don’t.
How do you make sure your complying with the RRP Law?
- Educate yourself on the subject: Buying a Lead Safe DVD like this one ($125) will teach you everything you need to know before executing a project containing lead paint including how to…Build containments, manage sales, estimate projects, even how to train employees!
About the Author: A&A Services (Salem, MA) is a Residential Lead-Safe Company. Chris Zorzy, the owner, has established himself as one of the top contractors in Eastern Massachusetts, yet he himself was the victim of a lead paint violation in Lynn, MA back in 1989. A&A Services continues to install and renovate homes with jobs of all sizes north of Boston. They specialize in installing Windows, Gutters, Doors, Insulation, Roofing, and Vinyl Siding. Chris is also the Producer and Narrator of “Lead Safe Video Solutions”, a popular lead-safe DVD. www.leadsafevideosolutions.com