Workplace Safety Guides

   Spray Painting Techniques


Supervisors can help instill good work practices that will further reduce exposure. One of the most common application faults is paint spray with too much pressure. Another is allowing the work piece to come between the source of fresh air and the painter. The gun is then pushing paint against the airflow, increasing overspray.

Painters often work in pairs. A common error is spraying from opposites sides of the product into each other's faces. Training is the key to good work practices. With the right knowledge, a painter will go a long way toward providing his or her own protection.

In recognition of this, the National Fire Protection Association Committee on Finishing Processes recently adopted language in their code mandating training for spray painters. They specify that training beyond the potential safety and health hazards, operation, maintenance and emergency procedures, and the importance of awareness while working. Managers should enforce employee use of that kind of training.

To review, control of the health problems associated with overspray and finishing operations can be done by substitution of new coatings or processes, proper ventilation equipment, isolation of the painter, and good work practices.

Too often, safety and health efforts are viewed as being at cross-purposes with production efficiency and quality. But in the finishing department, it's only a matter of doing two things at once. The same systems that make your products look good and protect them in use should protect your painters. When you consider altering your finishing department, have dual protection in mind.

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