Paint Spraying Operations

Summer is the season when many people want their houses repainted.  In the Northwest, we get very few opportunities with good weather.  It is important to not be in too much of a hurry that safety concerns are overlooked. 

Ladder Usage

  • Keep the belt buckle between the rails
  • Make sure ladder has a firm footing

Hazards Associated with Spraying Operations

  • Never put your hand or any part of the body in front of the sprayer.  Injected paint is very dangerous.
  • Use proper PPE, especially when spraying in enclosed areas
  • Always protect equipment using assured grounding methods
  • Read SDS to ensure employees are fully protected from hazards
  • Oil-based paints have vapors that are harmful when breathed.  Some of the solvents in paints that result in high levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are ethylene, toluene, xylene, acetone, and methylene chloride
  • Additives to paints are another potential health risk.  Preservatives and pesticides are added to kill mildew and bacteria
  • Latex paints contain crystalline silica, which when inhaled causes lung disease such as silicosis and possibly cancer.  The amount of silica varies.
  • Oil based paints and varnishes are flammable, so even with respirators, explosive conditions may be present

Latex paints are certainly safer than paints containing VOC’s, but that does not mean they are without hazards.

If the building was built before January 1978, it may contain lead and the RRP rule may also need to be followed.


Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What hazards exist when using power cords or airlines?
  • What are some other hazards besides environmental?