Professional painters work in many types of locations, including construction sites, professional buildings, and private homes. While their services keep structures looking fresh, painters themselves face a revolving set of dangers each time they start a new job, and indeed, each work day.
Painters can protect themselves by becoming aware of various hazards they might face as well as learning how to stay safe in potentially dangerous circumstances. Here are some of the most common hazards professional painters face every time they go to work.
Due to the nature of their jobs as well as the locations in which they work, painters are prone to eye injuries. They should wear eye protection at all times, and if needed or wished, face protection such as a face shield.
Fumes from paint and on-site chemicals can cause problems for painters. Natural, toxic substances such as molds, fungi, and bacteria also pose serious dangers. Painters sometimes must work in confined spaces, which makes rescues difficult should trouble occur. Personal protective equipment, also called PPE, including ventilators, gloves, and ear plugs, is vital for maintaining safe conditions for painters when they must work in close spaces.
Painters often use scaffolding and ladders to do their work, and falls are a major danger they regularly face. Slips and trips can also cause injuries. To help prevent slips and trips, everyone should follow good housekeeping rules and best safety practices. They should clean up spills immediately and keep equipment organized and out of walkways. Painters should cover cables across pathways and remove or secure rugs. They should also ensure the work area is lit well. Safety harnesses help prevent falls from higher distances.
Painters should not work close to power lines, but sometimes they must face various types of electrical hazards while working. To stay safe, painters must work with caution and awareness of their surroundings. If the area is wet or damp, painters need to use portable Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or GFCIs, for plugging in electrical equipment. Furthermore, painters non-conductive ladders made of materials such as fiberglass help prevent shocks and electrocutions.
Painters are subject to what are called manual material handling, or MMH, injuries. Heavy lifting can cause job burnout and fatigue as well as back injuries. Painters need to know the best way to lift heavy objects, and no professional should be asked to lift materials greater than their physical abilities to do so. Work areas with poor layouts or that are crowded can lead to MMH injuries, so painters must be aware of increased dangers and move even more carefully.
Professional painters face numerous on-the-job dangers, but they can stay safe by working with awareness and a sense of responsibility. Following best practices keeps them and their coworkers safe. By noticing and assessing dangers, painters can avoid them and get the job done.
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