15 Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures

Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures

Painting hazards covers everything, situations or conditions which could pose a potential risk to anyone carrying out painting activity. This topic will cover Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures.

Types of Paint and Chemicals Used in Painting

Let’s explore the basic types of paint and chemical products used in painting and the dangers they pose:

Water Based Paint: Health risks are low, but could affect people who are very sensitive to smells or people allergic to vapors from paint. These products do not pose immediate fire risk. If you get paint on you, wash your hands and any part of your body exposed to the paint with water and soap (do not use detergent).

Oil Based Paint: Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. Oil-based paint contains potentially poisonous hydrocarbons, and high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which perform numerous functions in paint and evaporate as the paint dries. The most significant health effects of oil-based paint are due to polluted air from VOCs, inhalation and poisoning. These products can catch fire if they are exposed to excessive temperatures or high temperatures for a long time.

Paint Remover: Is a product designed to remove paint and other finishes and also to clean the underlying surface. Two basic categories of chemical paint removers are caustic and solvent. The active ingredients inmost common paint removers are organic solvents, which may damage the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, nervous system, and internal organs. Special precautions must be taken in their use. The fire causing potential of solvents can be classified as “extremely flammable,” “flammable,” combustible,” or “non-flammable.”

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Paint Thinner: Paint thinner is a solvent used to thin oil-based paints or clean up after their use. It contains chemicals that are hazardous to human health. They can cause headaches, nausea, depression if inhaled, confusion, and respiratory distress. It can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat when inhaled and also has anesthetic qualities. Many of these elements are also highly flammable.

Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures

Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures

In this paragraph, we will highlight major hazards associated with painting activities and control measures you can adopt to ensure safety throughout the activity;

Painting Hazards Include:

  1. Working at heights: A painter working at height will be exposed to all the risks relating to working at height; like falling from height, falling objects, etc.
  2. Working in confined spaces: The painter will be exposed to hazards like low oxygen availability, heat, poor ventilation, etc.
  3. Eye Irritation: When exposed to fumes released from the paint, the painter’s eyes may be affected if not well protected.
  4. Skin Irritation: Direct contact with paint or paint solvents can cause skin irritation and even chemical burns. 
  5. Falls from Heights: Many painting jobs involve working on ladders, scaffolds, or elevated surfaces. Without proper fall protection, workers risk falling and sustaining serious injuries.
  6. Slips, trips and falls: The painter could slip, trip or fall while painting, especially if there is poor housekeeping around the painting area.
  7. Exposure to paint products: Exposure to paint products like, solvents, lead and other toxic substances can posse health related issues that could affect the painter’s health if not well protected.
  8. Weather Conditions: Exterior painting jobs can be affected by weather conditions like wind, rain, or extreme temperatures, affecting paint application and worker safety.
  9. Proximity to flammable or combustible materials: This could result o fire accident as paints have very high combustive power.
  10. Musculoskeletal disorders: The painter may assume some awkward postures while painting, leading to the development of musculoskeletal injuries.
  11. Prolong standing: Prolong standing can result to blood pooling, leading to fainting.
  12. Equipment Accident: Accidents can occur with some painting equipment like paint sprayers, brushes, etc., if used incorrectly. High-pressure sprayers can cause injuries if aimed at the body, and improperly maintained tools might malfunction.
  13. Manual lifting: Excessive and poor manual lifting techniques can result to musculoskeletal injuries.
  14. Exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation: This actually occur in outdoor painting. UV exposure increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases if eye protection is not used. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health issues, including cancer.
  15. Electrical hazards from working close to live electrical power lines or equipment.
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Safety Control Measures To Manage Painting Hazards

It is very important that everyone knows the chemical products they have to use when working as painters and to know what to do in case they are overexposed to chemical hazards. Here are some of the things to know and consider before working with paint:

Knowledge about the paint: Everyone who works with toxic substances should know the names, toxicity, and other hazards of the substances they use. Employers are required by law to provide this information, along with training in how to use toxic substances safely.

Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs): It is important to understand how long we can be exposed to a chemical. Health and safety authorities establish the exposure limits of hazardous substances. OSHA PELs are based on an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) exposure. An employer can be cited and fined if employees are exposed over the PEL.

Ventilation: Ventilation is one of the most effective methods for controlling paint solvent vapors and dusts generated by paint activities by either supplying or exhausting air. Always make sure there is circulation of fresh air sufficient to keep concentrations of toxic substances diluted below hazardous levels. There are two main types of ventilation methods: general ventilation (or dilution ventilation) and local exhaust ventilation.

Substitution: The use of a less hazardous substance. But before choosing a substitute, thoroughly consider its physical and health hazards. Also consider environmental aspects such as air pollution and waste disposal.

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Work practices and behaviors: workers can control dust dispersion by spraying water (or dust suppressant products), closing containers of volatile chemicals when not in use, and labeling containers of hazardous substances.
Use of PP: Workers should wear Personal Protective Equipment when handling chemicals: Respiratory protective equipment consists of devices that cover the mouth and nose to prevent substances in the air from being inhaled. Protective clothing also should be used including gloves, aprons, goggles, boots, face shields, and any other materials worn as protection.

Painting Hazards And Safety Control Measures

Other Control Measures Includes:

  • Learn correct procedures for working at heights.
  • Select a safe working platform for the job.
  • Avoid awkward body positions or take frequent breaks.
  • Learn safe lifting techniques or call for assistance when necessary.
  • Know how to prevent injury from electrical hazards. Maintain safe distances from energized electrical equipment or utility lines.
  • Keep tools and equipment, and their safety features, in good working order. This can be achieved by routine inspection of working equipment.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and footwear.
  • Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
  • Learn safety procedures for working in confined spaces.
  • Maintain good ventilation during painting. Artificial ventilation may be required.
  • Good lighting should be provided in a confine space.

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