There are some occupations that have safety hazards tied to the nature of the job. Although commercial painting may not be as dangerous as other occupations, like firefighters or police officers, they still have to be cautious.
Commercial painters often work in chaotic environments, like construction sites or busy offices and warehouses. This adds to the risk factors for accidents and exposure to other safety hazards.
Risk Factors for Commercial Painters
Preventing accidents and injuries is the key element in ensuring safe practices for commercial painters. Here are some of the areas that need attention to keep painters safe and healthy.
1. Exposure to Hazardous Products
The paint and other products used by a commercial painter contain ingredients that can be noxious when inhaled. They can cause headaches, throat irritation, and breathing problems in certain people. These chemicals can also cause severe irritation to the eyes and skin.
Lead-based paint was used in buildings built before the 1970s. Although no longer used in new construction or paint, the danger arises when a project requires painting a building covered with lead paint. It is a particularly harmful substance that can cause serious complications if swallowed or inhaled. Painters should be experienced and trained in safe lead paint removal before attempting to take on such a project.
Asbestos is another material that may be present in older buildings built or renovated before the 1980s. It was used then to insulate buildings but was later found to cause serious and chronic health issues when inhaled. It’s important to know if asbestos is present and remove it prior to beginning the painting project.
2. Standing, Lifting, and Bending
In the course of completing a paint project, a commercial painter will lift boxes and equipment, be on their feet for hours, and do a lot of bending. That’s almost like being at the gym for a day! Commercial painting is very physically demanding, so it’s important to recognize when you need a break.
These tasks will cause aches, pains, and fatigue at the very least. Worse, though, is serious injury if precautions aren’t taken, especially with lifting. Get assistance if the load is too heavy or use a trolley. Use the proper lifting technique to avoid back injuries. Bend your knees and use your legs, not your back, when lifting heavy items.
3. Trips, Slips, and Falls
Commercial painters work in environments that are cramped, cluttered, and busy. When they’re concentrating on doing a good paint job, it’s not hard to slip or trip on a misplaced paintbrush or fall off a wobbly ladder.
Many commercial paint projects are in buildings with multiple stories and high ceilings. Painters will need to use ladders, scaffolding, platforms, and other equipment to access these areas to paint them. There is always a fall risk in these situations, which can cause serious injuries and even death.
To prevent trips and falls, emphasis should be on keeping the area clear and free of hazards. Preventing falls from high areas requires extra caution and safety devices and procedures, like a fall arrest system.
Tips for Staying Safe as a Commercial Painter
There are some ways a commercial painter can protect themselves from accidents, injuries, and health issues. Follow these tips to keep safe.
- Keep the work area as clear as possible at all times. Remove anything that you don’t need to do the job.
- Cover everything with drop cloths. Make sure the cloths don’t bunch up to create a trip hazard.
- Be cautious when painting around electrical fixtures. As an extra precaution, turn off the electricity.
- Keep flammable paint and products away from heating vents or other hot surfaces. If you’re outdoors in the hot sun, try to keep flammable materials in the shade.
- Keep windows open when painting inside, especially if you’re using water-based paints.
- Secure ladders so that there are solidly placed and sturdy.
- Use Personal Protective Equipment, when necessary. These include gloves, protective goggles or face shields, dust masks or particulate respirators, coveralls and shoe covers, hard hats, and fall arrests. It’s also wise to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Adam Roe Painting Cares about Safety
At Adam Roe Painting, we value our painters and strive to protect their wellbeing at all times. That’s why we factor in safety measures as part of every bid. We never compromise the safety of our team.
We provide ongoing safety training to our employees. It’s our goal to be injury and accident-free. If you’re looking to work for a company that cares, fill out an application today. We’re always looking for talented, hard-working, ethical painters to join our team!