Auto body shops do big business in restoring cars to their former beauty after they’ve been damaged in an accident. However, the toxic fumes, caustic chemicals, solutions, and paints that are typically used can be very hazardous to handle and dangerous to health. Handling these items with care and operating a safe working environment is essential in order to avoid a vehicle repair workers compensation case.
Breathing easier means proper ventilation
Painting booths should have the proper filters and ventilation to ensure an unsafe buildup of fumes does not occur. If a booth is not used, make sure that an open window or door is available, and consider adding a portable fan to help with air circulation.
Additional protection may be called for in the form of a face mask or a respirator. This breathing protection is helpful when sanding down a car, which can kick up paint dust that may be quite dangerous to inhale. Make sure the crew understands when a full respirator is called for.
Wear the right gear
All gloves are not created equal. Certain chemicals can penetrate gloves, so wear gloves that are rated to provide protection from the chemicals you are using. This will help ensure that your hands are protected when you and your workers are applying paint stripper, reducer or sealing agents.
It’s also important to wear safety goggles that, when worn properly, will create a seal around the eyes. Wearing eye protection can help prevent damage from paint spray and fumes, or bits of debris. Even a small bit of rust or a speck of paint in the eye can cause severe irritation or lasting damage.
Cleanliness is next to safety
Keep the painting bay as clean as possible. You don’t want to have objects lying around that you could trip over, or long cords and other items that you’d have to step over while trying to paint. Clean up spills that can create a slippery surface.
Take care to run a tight ship at your shop so that you can focus on the cars you are repairing instead of a vehicle repair workers compensation claim.