OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 4 Chemical Hazards, Biological Hazards and Harmful Substances

Section 30 Protective clothing used in restricted areas containing asbestos or lead

An employer is responsible for laundering clothing used by workers in a restricted area that contains asbestos or lead. This includes towels that are used for worker decontamination. The intent of the requirement is to centralize the laundering of contaminated clothing and prevent cross-contamination of street clothes with asbestos or lead. If re-usable protective clothing is to be worn in a restricted area containing asbestos or lead, it must be properly laundered before it is removed from the work site. Workers should be able to leave a work site without carrying away any amount of harmful substance that could adversely affect their health or the health of other persons with whom they have contact.

The handling of contaminated protective clothing during laundering could be harmful to workers if it is not done properly. During storage and transportation, all contaminated protective clothing must be in sealed containers that are clearly labelled to identify the contaminants. Workers must be warned not to inhale the dust during handling.