pressurized equipment, ladders, scaffolding, and
rigging always make painting a hazardous job.
Hazards may also be inherent in the very nature of the
environment or result from ignorance or carelessness
by the painter.
The main causes of painting accidents are unsafe
working conditions or equipment, and careless
personnel. The proper setting up and dismantling of
equipment, the required safety checks, and the proper
care of equipment may require more time than is spent
using it. Nevertheless, safety measures must be taken.
Certain general rules regarding fire and explosion
hazards apply to all situations. All paint materials
should have complete label instructions stipulating the
potential fire hazards and precautions to be taken.
Painters must be advised and reminded of the fire
hazards that exist under the particular conditions of
each job. They need to be aware of the dangers
involved and the need to work safely. Proper fire-
fighting equipment must always be readily available
in the paint shop, spray room, and other work areas
where potential fire hazards exist. Electric wiring and
equipment installed or used in the paint shop,
including the storage room and spray room, must
conform to the applicable requirements of the
National Electrical Code (NEC) for hazardous areas.
Many poisons, classified as toxic and skin-
irritating, are used in the manufacture of paint.
Although your body can withstand small quantities of
poisons for short periods, overexposure can have
harmful effects. Continued exposure to even small
amounts may cause the body to become sensitized;
subsequent contact, even in small amounts, may cause
an aggravated reaction. The poisons in paint are
definite threats to normally healthy individuals and
serious dangers to persons having chronic illnesses or
disorders. Nevertheless, health hazards can be avoided
by a common-sense approach of avoiding unnecessary
contact with toxic or skin-imitating materials.
As with all tasks the Builder undertakes, safety
must be a primary concern from the earliest planning
stages to the final cleanup. Shortcuts, from personnel
protection to equipment-related safety devices, should
not be permitted. Follow the project safety plan, and
consult all applicable safety manuals when involved
with any paint operation. Remember, work safe, stay
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
Although the following references
were current when this TRAMAN was
published, their continued currency
cannot be assured. You therefore need
to ensure that you are studying the
and Protective Coatings, NAVFAC MO-110,
Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force,
Washington, D.C., 1991.
Wood Preservation, NAVFAC MO-312, Department of
the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command,
Washington, D.C., 1968.