DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
When a health department or a community-based organization makes joint visits with code inspectors, they can demonstrate methods to identify lead hazards. Such visits can motivate greater attention to lead safety, heighten awareness of and skill in identifying existing lead hazards, and prompt agencies to have their code inspectors trained as lead hazard inspectors or risk assessors. In jurisdictions where existing lead hazards are a violation of building and/or housing codes, joint visits and enhanced lead hazard assessment skills for code inspectors can lead to more thorough enforcement of the code.
Joint visits immediately raise lead hazard awareness among code inspectors and increase enforcement against property owners whose buildings contain lead hazards, leading to control or removal of those hazards.
As code inspectors’ attention to peeling paint and lead dust hazards increases, more property owners will be required to attend to lead hazards before a child is poisoned.
A joint visit strategy can help create cooperative working relationships between agencies and/or organizations that may not have worked together in the past, and these relationships can help further goals of greater compliance with housing codes and addressing other housing-related health hazards. As news of stepped-up enforcement spreads, other property owners may be motivated to address lead hazards to avoid enforcement penalties. In cases where enforcement actions are not necessary because lead hazards are not discovered, code inspectors and their “lead-expert” partners can develop good relationships with landlords, tenants, and homeowners by providing information about lead safety and lead-safe work practices.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Code or Building Inspection Agency
In most instances, no new staff will be needed.
Other resource requirements:
This strategy will require some educational materials.
Inspectors will need training on identifying lead hazards, or even be trained as lead inspectors or risk assessors. The partners with expertise in lead hazards may need training on code inspection techniques, the locality’s housing and/or building codes, and other details specific to each jurisdiction.
Costs to implement this strategy should be minimal. Limited costs would be incurred if code inspectors go on to be trained as lead sampling technicians or in lead-safe work practices.
The implementation timeline will depend on training schedules, as well as how quickly partners with expertise in lead hazards can be integrated into the code inspection process.
High. Implementation of this strategy should be easy.
The main potential obstacle for realizing this strategy would be the unwillingness of code inspection agencies to participate in a joint visit strategy, as some agencies may be inflexible in their operations due, for example, to previous questions about the independence and objectivity of the inspection program. Another potential obstacle could be a perceived lack of need for joint visits or the unwillingness or inability to add another task to code inspectors’ list of duties.