Painter and Decorator Health and Safety
Painting and decorating is a popular construction trade, and as with many of its cousins in the industry is constantly in demand due to the nature of the work. A finished construction project after all will most likely need to be painted and decorated.
The wide breadth of work available therefore means that there are varying health and safety concerns to be taken into account:
Falling from height
First of all, the main danger faced not only by painters and decorators but any tradespeople on-site is falls from height. It continues to be the main cause of death in construction.
Before you start any work at heights, make sure that your employer has followed up to date procedures before undertaking your tasks. You can’t, for instance, use a MEWP or working platform without adequate training beforehand.
Likewise, any defects that you can spot in ladders, scaffolding and mobile towers need to be reported immediately to the relevant senior figures on-site.
Using water based paints
It is also becoming more and more important to employers that water-based paints are used when painting.
These paints can be used across a broad range of surfaces, and are environmentally-friendly, containing minimal amounts of solvent.
It is very important with all solvent based substances to never expose them to an open flame – they are without exception highly flammable, and the utmost care and consideration must be made when using them on-site.
Checking decorating materials with surfaces
The paints you use and the surfaces you use them on should always be checked before beginning a job.
Any cautions and potential dangers indicated on painting and decorating materials need to be considered in relation to the surface you are planning to use them on – some surfaces can be ruined by certain substances.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE as it’s more commonly known, is also required as part of painter and decorator health and safety.
In particular, eye-goggles and a face mask are needed to avoid getting decorative substances in your eyes and to stop you inhaling fumes.
Ventilate your site
With all fumes, it is very important to ensure adequate ventilation in whichever room you are decorating – all doors and windows should be open to help aerate areas, which becomes increasingly important on large industrial jobs.
Avoiding hand spillages
Finally, seeing as a great deal of your work will be completed using your hands, it will be nearly impossible to avoid getting substances on them.
Precaution needs to be taken with certain solvents as they can be corrosive on skin, and you’d think it goes without saying that you should wash your hands after each shift, but this is still overlooked by many tradespeople.
These basic health and safety principles among others will help your painting and decorating projects become both more efficient and professional.
image source: flickr