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Auto body and paint shop employees risk exposure to chemical and physical hazards everyday. Tasks including sanding, painting and metal fabrication all come with serious long-term and immediate dangers.

Hazards in Auto Body and Paint Shops

  • CANCER:
    • Sanding and finishing can expose workers to silica, which can cause lung cancer.
    • Solvents, paints and other products can contain chemicals that are linked to cancer.
  • RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS:
    • Silicosis – Exposure to silica dust can lead to permanent lung damage
    • Asthma – Isocyanates, ingredients in paints and spray-on protective coatings (i.e. bedliners) are a leading cause of occupational asthma.
  • INJURY AND ILLNESS:
    • Exposure to automotive exhaust, particularly in enclosed spaces, can cause short and long term health problems.
    • Working around vehicles increases the risk of physical injury, including struck-by and crushing injuries.

Preventing Exposures and Lowering Your Risk

  • EDUCATION:
    • Review the MSDS Sheets for the chemicals and products you work with.
    • Do not accept shipments of new chemicals unless MSDS’s are provided.
    • Know the proper procedures for the equipment and materials you use and follow them!
  • AWARENESS:
    • Inspect your work area and equipment regularly. Report unsafe conditions immediately.
    • Make sure ventilation equipment is on and working properly before beginning painting or finishing.
    • Route exhaust from running vehicles outdoors.
  • PROTECTION:
    • Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each activity.
    • Consider vacuum systems and using poe sanding as an alternative to hand sanding.
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