OSHA Addresses Hazards of Spray Painting in Shipyard Employment
A new OSHA fact sheet focuses on protecting workers who spray paint marine vessels from associated hazards such as exposures to chemical hazards and toxic substances, and fires and explosions from flammable paints and coatings. This type of work is often conducted in confined spaces, which must be properly ventilated in order to avoid hazardous exposures to workers. OSHA’s fact sheet, which is available as a
, outlines shipyard employers’ responsibility to identify, evaluate, and protect workers from exposure to respiratory and other workplace hazards. OSHA discusses control measures for protecting these workers, including engineering controls such as ventilation and personal protective equipment. According to the agency, a shipyard competent person must conduct frequent tests to verify that solvent vapors are at a concentration below 10 percent of the lower explosive limit during the spray application of paints or coatings where the potential for hazardous atmospheric conditions and fires or explosions exists. Employers must also take precautions with tools and other equipment, which have the potential to be ignition sources in flammable and combustible atmospheres through an electrical spark or static discharge. Additional information on other hazards associated with the preparation and preservation of surfaces in the shipyard industry is available on OSHA's