While painting may at first appear to be a fairly straightforward task, any number of health complications can ensue if a worker does not use proper protection and comply with safety regulations. To ensure safety, a painter needs to use the right products, remain vigilant, and balance the pressure to complete the job on time with safety practices.
Solvent Protection Equipment
When using solvent-based products, it is important to always have the right protective equipment on hand. Some companies make solvent-resistant gloves that prevent paint from seeping through the material, reducing the risk of direct skin contact. In addition, those working in poorly ventilated areas should consider acquiring special respirators to protect the lungs from fumes let off by toxic chemicals.
Protective Sanding Gear
When sanding, an anti-dust mask prevents microscopic pieces of wood from entering the lungs. These small dust particles can cause long-term lung damage for professional painters, so proper protection is crucial. In addition, gloves protect the skin while using sanders, especially electric sanders. The same applies to goggles, which can help protect the eyes from small dust particles.
Precautions for Flammable Products
Always keep in mind that solvents are highly flammable, so anything that could ignite a flammable product needs to be kept away from the workspace. Read the safety precautions on any solvent-based paint, and it will tell you to store it in a cool and well-ventilated area.
It’s also important to dispose of towels properly because a towel that is soaked in oil-based paint can ignite if it is near a fire. Water-based products are a safer solution to oil-based ones, mostly because they are not flammable and can dry much quicker.
Falls are a leading cause of injury in the construction industry, so it is essential to be aware of the proper precautions when using a stepladder. Always check to make sure that the ladder steps are dry and sturdy, and that they can support the weight of both you and your equipment. For stability, stay near the middle of the ladder rather than the top, and avoid using a ladder on slippery or unsteady surfaces.
It’s common for contracted painters to work quickly-the faster the job gets done, the faster they can get paid for the next job-and many painters will tell you that you have to work fast while maintaining accuracy and precision. However, rushing through a job increases risks associated with safety problems and hazards.