Painting is done normally for beautification, and for the protection of surfaces/areas from the elements.
Often, little attention is paid to the reasons – why – it should be done for safety sake.
The main reasons why safety painting matters: To prevent injury and to draw attention.
The following is just a short list of applications where painting applies to safety:
1. Handicapped parking zone. The blue and white color code and wheel chair insignia designate it as an area for people with disabilities, who may require ease of access.
2. No traffic zones. The painted diagonal yellow stripes inform the driver of an automobile, or another vehicle, that the designated area should be avoided. It may be hazardous to anyone situated in that area.
3. Stop sign. The white lettering on a red background is universal in its understanding. It has saved more lives than can ever be estimated.
4. Color coding of piping and electrical conduit. Examples: black for gas pipes, blue for water. Tmost persons, these color codes may seem unnecessary. The colors are meant to inform people of the cautions that they should use in working around these areas. Use of these color codes assists in the avoidance of accidents.
5. Fire Zone. Normally painted in diagonal red lines, the area provides a safe access and water main hook up for the fire department. Also, it provides access for other emergency vehicles.
What might be the response if all of the areas, considered to be safety zones, were left suddenly unmarked or un-coded – without the use of color?
Safety experts and statistics show that the “accident rate” increases sharply. The number and cost-liability levels of “insurance claims” rise dramatically.
Whenever you leave your home, the environment “out there” becomes more unpredictable. Your life carries with it a greater sense of risk wherever you go. Whether you’re shopping, going to work, or spending time with the family.
SAFE PAINTING: On the Job or at Home
Whether in your home or on the job, the painting environment should be a safe one. It should be free of all potential hazards, especially those which can cause injury.
How likely can any of us guarantee safe environmental conditions? We can’t. We can, however, take certain precautions which may decrease our chances of getting hurt or seriously injured.
Common errors or areas that tend to lack our attention.
1. Standing on the top rung of a step ladder. You can fall by losing your balance.
SAFETY TIP: Buy and use a utility or short step ladder with wide, deep and skid/rubber covered steps. For higher, hard-to-reach areas, recruit a taller person to use that same utility/short ladder. Approximate cost: $45.00
2. Over-reaching when on a ladder. You can lose you balance and fall.
SAFETY TIP: Get down, and move the ladder to an easy-to-reach position.
3. Painting overhead with eyes exposed. Prevent damage to your eyes.
SAFETY TIP: Wear a pair of snug-fitting safety glasses or goggles. Approx. cost: $12.00
4. Painting in area without adequate ventilation. Protect your ability to breathe.
SAFETY TIP: Buy and use large oscillating or stationary fan. Approx. cost: $30-60
5. Working with unprotected head in “construction”-type zone – eg. nearby beams, sharp objects/edges, protruding fixtures. Protect your brain from injury.
SAFETY TIP: Wear a hard hat or safety helmet. Approx. cost: $ 10-15
6. Painting without steady air supply. Protect your entire body.
SAFETY TIP: Wear designated, project-appropriate breathing apparatus. Approx. cost: $500-700.
7. Painting/finishing with skin exposed. Avoid skin irritation and burns from chemicals.
SAFETY TIP: Wear rubber gloves, also long-sleeved shirt and long pants; or full-body suit.
Approx. cost: $ 10 for gloves, $12 for suit.
8. Pointing a paint spray gun at a person or animal. You may cause an injury to others.
SAFETY TIP: Always point spray gun away – to the side or opposite direction of person. That includes yourself!
9. Lifting heavy buckets/objects with your legs stiff. Avoid getting a back injury.
SAFETY TIP: Bend to your knees close to object. Reach for and grasp object. Carefully lift, slowly straightening both knees, and keeping back straight.
If you find yourself questioning the safety of an on-the-job procedure, treatment, product or material, a tool or piece of equipment, consider consulting OSHA’s website on workplace safety. www.osha.gov/workplace/safety
Being safe is the only way to ensure the prospects for tomorrow.
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SAFETY ALWAYS MATTERS! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.