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Oregon State University

Painting Operations Safety

Safety Instruction Number: 
48
Last Update: 
Wed, 01/30/2008

    General

  1. Do not perform work in a heavily populated area, including building air intake areas, until appropriate warnings are posted and occupants notified.
  2. Whenever possible, isolate the immediate work area to prevent injury to bystanders. See construction and remodel for more information.
  3. Protect your working area with warning flags and traffic cones when working road and traffic lines.
  4. When spraying roofs or building exteriors, have adequate barricades and signs to detour traffic.
  5. Eye protection is required whenever rust or loose paint is removed from surfaces with a wire brush. A hard hat is required if the work area is exposed to falling objects.
  6. To avoid splinters, always observe the condition of the wood before sanding.
  7. Store and dispense flammable solvents from approved safety cans only.
  8. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for handling all epoxy materials, thinners, catalysts, paint removers, etc. Gloves and respirators are often required.
  9. Make a safety check of all equipment such as staging tools, spray pots, hoses, fitting hooks, etc.
  10. Clean all working areas after each job and/or shift.
  11. Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling food.
  12. Inspect all ladders and scaffolds before you begin work.
  13. An approved life line, independently fastened to the building above the worker, is required for each worker on a swinging scaffold, boatswain's chair, or unguarded slope 10 feet or more above ground level.
  14. Make sure that planks or ladder stages are long enough to extend well beyond the supports.
  15. Do not climb onto or use rolling-type scaffolds unless wheels are fully locked.
  16. Inspect all rope before use. Rope used around acid or caustics should be inspected frequently during use.
  17. Do not use fiber rope that cannot easily be bent or worked, or if fibers seem to be dry or brittle.
  18. Do not use fiber rope near sandblasting, or where there is exposure to chemical washing solutions.

    Spraying

  19. An approved respirator should be worn when spray painting is being done.
  20. Do not paint in shops, chemical laboratories, chemical storage rooms, or similar locations without specific instructions from the supervisor of such locations.
  21. Do not perform spray painting in tanks, tunnels, or other confined spaces without specific permission from your supervisor. Appropriate breathing equipment, and/or controls are required for such work to assure that the atmosphere is safe.
  22. Do not break connections in pressurized air hose lines.
  23. Airless spraying with flammable materials should not be performed in confined areas unless there is sufficient ventilation to keep the atmosphere below the lower explosive limit of the material.
  24. Airless spraying with flammable materials may cause generation of static electricity. This will require grounding of both the spraying equipment and the object to be sprayed.
  25. Do not point an airless spray gun at any part of the body. Do not clean airless spray guns while there is pressure in the system.
  26. Inspect and clean all gauges, gaskets, and valves on all spray equipment to ensure that they are in good working order.
  27. Do not interfere with the mechanical operation of safety devices designed to protect you from contact with the spray under pressure.
  28. Do not leave rags saturated with paint or thinner lying around in a pile. In order to avoid a fire, see that these rags are left unfolded until they are properly aired out and then discard them in approved containers. Storage in a water filled container is recommended.
  29. Spontaneous ignition can occur if certain types of spray paint residues are permitted to mix or accumulate.
  30. Dispose of surplus paints and solvents by approved methods only.
  31. Removal of lead-based paint requires additional personal protective equipment and air sampling to determine lead exposure.