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
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each activity.
- Consider vacuum systems and using poe sanding as an alternative to hand sanding.