Media Release – 19 July 2018
Shooting range fined $77k over staff lead poisoning from ammunition
The ABC News reported yesterday that the Indoor Shooting Range in Rothwell had been fined following a staff member sustaining lead poisoning. Click here to see the report.
Asset College has a commercial agreement to use this indoor range facility for conducting some of our Firearms Safety Courses and Security Firearms Courses. We have been using this facility for approx. 5 years, the above event occurred in 2015. Management at Asset College were made aware of the event at the time and worked closely with the range to ensure that there was no impact to the health and safety of our staff or students.
Asset College is committed to ensuring the ongoing health and safety of its staff and students. We have numerous control measures in place to reduce the exposure to lead and management systems which ensure that foreseeable risks are effectively mitigated. These include (but are not limited to):
- Limiting the amount of time in areas where lead exposure can occur
- Using ammunition that is either lead-free or contains reduced amounts of lead, wherever possible
- Inspecting facilities to ensure suitable extraction systems are installed and functioning correctly, maintenance procedures are followed, and suitable wash facilities are available
- Informing all range users (both staff and students) of the potential risks and procedures to reduce the lead exposure such as washing hands after being on the range
- Routine monitoring of lead levels for staff who regularly perform duties at indoor and other shooting ranges
Shooting is an activity which will inherently result in some exposure to lead and other risks, this is increased slightly when using indoor range facilities but does occur whenever firearms are used. The exposure to lead comes mainly in a gaseous or dust form from the primers and projectiles which is inhaled; it can also come from skin contact with projectiles and dust which has settled on surfaces. However, with appropriate management systems and attention to personal hygiene the degree of actual risk is minimal.
I am confident that Asset College’s staff and students have not been exposed to unduly high levels of lead as a result of the above event or at any other time which may have any impact on their health and safety. Asset College continue to support the Rothwell Indoor Shooting Range and continue to develop strategies which further increase safety of range users. Anyone who is concerned about their blood lead levels should contact their GP.
Any questions about this media release should be directed to our head office via email to [email protected]