The spraying process of paints and varnishes produces gases and vapors with harmful particles, some of which are uninhibitedly entered into the human organism and can be proven to cause irreversible damage. Failure to comply with legal and regulatory requirements may result in health and liability risks that employers and employees are often unaware of. That’s why professionals in the fence and deck staining industry also comply with these legal and regulatory requirements.
The dangers posed by the processing of paints with color particles, isocyanates and organic solvents are still largely underestimated or not known at all. This seems to be due to the fact that the damage to health usually only becomes apparent after 10 to 15 years; However, it is too late for countermeasures – the damage is irreparable, regardless of whether solvent-containing or so-called water-based paints are used. Respiratory protective devices are often not worn regularly or in appropriate form. In addition, the use of these devices disregards hygienic principles and is improperly maintained. The reasons given by the users are complex and range from denying a danger to saying that the work disability caused by respiratory protection is significant and therefore unacceptable.
Almost all areas of the human body are affected by the dusts and vapors produced during the processing of paints and varnishes. The areas of the human body with a high nerve tissue content, such as the brain, bone marrow, semen or eggs and fetus, are particularly at risk for lasting damage. Especially during spray painting, the finest aerosols are produced, which are inhaled into the narrowest branches of the lungs and from there directly into the bloodstream. The protection of the lungs is of crucial importance, since the surface of the pulmonary vesicles takes up about 100 m2 when inhaled and the air exchange takes place there very intensively. Also via the human skin, for example, solvents are absorbed very quickly and enter the bloodstream. Especially in the case of water-based paints, the pollutants are quickly absorbed through the eyes when they are exposed to the paint or varnish mist unprotected.
What workers must be protected from
Paint and varnish mist is produced in high concentrations, especially when spray painting. But not only when painting itself, but also when mixing paints and varnishes or grinding the surface layers, health problems arise. Adequate health protection (eye, respiratory and skin protection) is therefore not only required in the paint booth. Since skin and hair should be protected in addition to lungs and eyes, a suitable paint suit and varnish head protection must be worn. The suit must meet all regulatory requirements such as antistatic properties, self-extinguishing, etc.
Legal and regulatory requirements
The entrepreneur must carry out a risk analysis at the workplace, define an appropriate protective measures concept in writing and make it known to the employees. In order to defend against future claims of the employees, he must have this notice confirmed in writing. Instruction and confirmation shall be repeated annually. If conditions in the workplace change, this risk analysis should be revised, sufficient protective measures defined and documented implementation. In addition, the trader must ensure the effectiveness of the protective measures taken.