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Hazards in the preparation for painting

From the putting your safety first section

Paint stripper:

Metal pre-treatment:

These mixtures often contain phosphoric acid. Because of this, the following hazards exist:


Welding fumes:


Safety first

Common sense should be used when spraying paint:

  1. Always spray with the wind.
  2. Use tarpaulins or screens to protect other people from the spray.
  3. Never spray toward one another.
  4. Use gun extenders to reduce exposure.

What about first aid?

  1. Do you/your workers know what to do if someone is overcome by fumes?
  2. Are eye wash facilities available at all times in the work area?
  3. How far away is the shower for washing larger spills off the skin?
  4. Do you know what to do if someone swallows a chemical?
  5. Do you have a SDS (Safety Data Sheet) available for each product being used?

What if there is a fire?

When paints, inks and other chemicals burn they decompose. Any nitrogen containing material can evolve cyanide gas when it burns. This includes materials that contain epoxy hardener, polyamide, melamine, polyurea, polyurethane and even natural materials such as wool. Carbon monoxide will be evolved in large amounts from any burning material.

  1. Where is your assembly point?
  2. If the wind is blowing fumes towards your assembly point, do you have an alternative place to go?
  3. In a fire, cans and drums of material nearby can heat up, building up pressure inside. There is a real risk of these containers exploding.

What happens to drums and cans when they are empty?

Even when empty there will be some material around the inside walls of the drum. Depending of the type of chemical it could be dangerous to put water or waste solvents in the drum. Some materials react with water and this could cause a pressure build up in the drum or even an explosion.

  1. Do workers take empty drums home to use an incinerators or barbecues?
  2. What sort of toxic fumes might be produced when the drums are used this way?

Medical surveillance:

There are a number of tests available that willshow if you are being overexposed to certain hazards. Checks should be done on:

Are you monitoring your health and the health ofany employees?

Further information:

Container labels and Safety Data Sheets have information about the possible hazards of the chemicals being used. They advise how the product should be used safely and what to do in the event of an emergency.


Putting your safety first!
Understanding paint hazards and essential precautions

Safety topics   Problem solver topics   Ask a Paint Expert


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