Its important in any job that you ensure all staff are taking the right safety precautions to not only make sure they reduce the risk of hazards to themselves but also others. Elevation Maintenance takes health and safety extremely seriously; we have undergone a number of courses to ensure our teams know exactly how to spot a hazard and deal with them. The last thing you want is for any of your team to be hurt on the job so here we are going to tell you all about safety on the job.
Why do you need safety on the job?
There are a number of reasons why you need safety on the job, the main one being you want to minimise the risk of any hazards that may occur on site. Sometimes employees can either get carried away with what they are doing or just simply not think about the health and safety risks around them.
On site, spraying has a number of risks our teams need to take into consideration. Many of the paints we use hold hazardous solvents within them, which if inhaled can cause health issues and if it comes into contact with the skin can cause irritation and redness. Read on to find out about how you can reduce the exposure of paints to your employees and make your workplace safer.
Exposure to solvent vapours
Many solvents found in paints are similar to ethanol which is found in alcohol, this substance allows to paint to dry quickly. As many of you may know alcohol has a range of affect one being a depressant which can slow down your nerves and brain. Solvents work in a very similar way; if inhaled on a regular basis it can have a significant effect on your nervous system as well as the way your muscles react to movement.
As many of our teams use paints on a regular basis to carry out on site spraying services, if the guys are not masked properly they could potentially be inhaling large amounts of solvents. One of the more unknown sides effects of solvent inhalation is hallucinations, distorted perceptions and even personality changes which can be experienced over short periods of time. If not wearing protective clothing you can also experience extreme irritation and damage to your skin.
There are also a range of long-term issues you can encounter if exposed to solvent vapour over long periods of time including damage to a range of your internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brains and lungs. You can also experience more extreme problems such as unexpected death and sudden onset heart attack.
We highly recommend kitting your team out with the best protective clothing to ensure they are safe at all times. On site sprayers and cladding spraying are constantly exposed to mists, purchase a vapour resistant face mask to protect employees faces. You will want to think about getting them one that covers mouth, nose and eyes, pick yours up from ToolStation. Ensuring you have the right face protection means small particles of vapours and gasses can be effectively filtered and not reach the person wearing it.
While we are on the topic of protective clothing, it is always important to make sure your guys are fully protected by their clothing. Exposed body parts are open to being caught with irritation and damage skin from contact with solvents. You should always ensure your clothes are fully covered; this means wearing long sleeved tops as well as long trousers. We highly recommend getting your team overalls from Dickies. You should always have your hands covered, and this is often something people forget about, we suggest looking at Nitrile Spraying Gloves which are made with non-absorbent lining.
If you are working in an area where people may be walking across, or it is a footpath for employees you may want to restrict access to any unauthorised personnel. The spray zone should be a well-protected area, the last thing you want is for any authorised person to enter the spray zone and put themselves in danger. On many spraying sites we use large mechanical equipment to get the team to higher areas, or areas of the building that are difficult to gain access to. We always make our restricted areas as obvious as possible to the general public and notify the business if we need to close off an area. Use large well recognisable signs to stop people from entering, you can pick yours up from SafetySign.com.
Due to the types of commercial buildings, we spray here at Elevation Maintenance we have to reach areas that are not easy to access, which often means we need to use lifting equipment. If you are going to be using any form of mechanical lifting equipment, it is important all member of your team using it are fully trained in all health and safety aspects. You should also be reinforcing any strict no-go zones that can cause potential hazards when using the equipment.
Health and safety
In the spraying industry, it is essential that you have the right health and safety before going on a job. Not only does it save you time in having to fill out paperwork but is also gives your clients a piece of mind when you are on their site. Having the right health and safety certificates also means you will find it easier to tender for business.
Another thing to think about when looking at the health and safety of employees and a job is to carry out regular risk assessments when on site. By doing so, you will be able to assess whether there are any potential dangers to employees and others working on site.
Why is on site safety so important?
You want to create the best possible working environment for your employees, by providing the right health and safety training you are eliminating any risk to your teams. Ensuring all spraying technicians have the right protective clothing will benefit them not only while on the job but also in the future, they will notice fewer health implications due to solvents. Here at Elevation Maintenance, we believe to be so important for all members of staff to receive the right training, at the end of the day you want everyone to go home fit and well.