Report Unsafe Work Practices

If you see someone sanding, scraping, power-washing, or using a flame torch on a pre-1978 building without containment of paint chips, they may be creating a lead hazard and violating the law.

You can report it by filling out the Unsafe Work Practices complaint form. Here are some steps you can take before you do that:

  1. Observe closely. Are they working without using drop cloths secured to the building and ground to catch the paint chips? Are paint chips going down the storm drain? Are the workers without masks or other protective gear, such as respirators?
  2. Try talking with the workers and property owner. Often, workers don’t realize that they are contaminating the property and violating the law. They may also be exposing themselves to dangerous levels of lead.
  3. Refer the workers and property owner to your local lead poisoning prevention program and to the EPA lead website at for information on working lead safe and finding training providers.
  4. The California Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program may be able to help. Go to: or call the Lead in the Workplace Information Line at (866) 627-1587. Email:
  5. California OSHA has a worker hotline at (866) 924-9757 and a free consultation service for employers at (800) 963-9424.
  6. Remember that you and your family could be at risk of lead poisoning from uncontained chips or dust.

  7. Here’s what to do if the unsafe work continues.