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Employers must protect shipyard workers from hazards of spray painting

Primary dangers include fires and explosions from flammable paints, coatings

Posted June 14, 2017

OSHA published a new fact sheet aimed at protecting shipyard workers from the hazards associated with spray painting vessels. Dangers posed to workers include fires and explosions from flammable paints and coatings, as well as exposures to chemicals hazards and toxic substances. In addition, spray painting is often conducted in confined spaces that may not be properly ventilated.

Employers must take the necessary precautions to safeguard workers from the hazards involved with spray painting in a shipyard. These safeguards will include complying with OSHA’s maritime standards at 29 CFR 1915, Subpart Z, to protect workers from exposures to hazardous substances, and §§1915.35 and .36 for the safety precautions applicable to flammable and combustible vapors.

The fact sheet describes the necessary engineering controls employers must use to prevent employee exposure to hazardous atmospheric conditions, along with safety controls for tools and equipment. Further, OSHA says employers must assess work activities at their facilities to determine if hazards require employees use personal protective equipment (PPE).

Other topics addressed by the fact sheet include disposal considerations for scrapings and rags soaked with flammable substances along with emergency response requirements.

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