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Key health and safety tips for painters

These health and safety tips provide general information on ways to manage the most common hazards and risks in your industry. By following this guidance you will be going a long way to effectively managing health and safety in your workplace. However, every workplace is different and you must not take this information as being all that you need to do.

General
Work at heights
Tools/equipment
Falling objects
Electrical
Access/housekeeping
Manual tasks
Noise
Hazardous substances
Hot or cold environments
Personal Protective Equipment
Amenities
Emergency preparedness and response
Sun protection
Occupational stress
Occupational violence

General
Activities/instructions More information

  • Ensure work method statements prepared, signed off and available
  • Ensure workers have general safety induction card
  • Display appropriate site signage
  • Use appropriate safety gear
Work at heights
Activities/instructions More information

  • Keep controls in place if risk of fall ≥ 2 m for commercial and 3 m for domestic e.g. edge protection, catch platform
  • Provide and use adequate work platforms e.g. 5 planks
  • Ensure no gaps in perimeter protection
  • Make sure penetrations covered/secured
  • Use appropriate designed and erected scaffolds
Tools/equipment
Activities/instructions More information

  • Ensure tools and equipment maintenance in good condition
  • Use tools and equipment for intended purpose
  • Make sure guards are in place when used
Falling objects
Activities/instructions More information

  • Do not throw tools and materials
  • Make sure brick guards/mesh are in place in scaffold
  • Use exclusion zone and/or catch platform
  • Ensure controls implemented for loads being lifted over adjoining areas e.g. adjoining area closed/gantry erected
Electrical
Activities/instructions More information

  • Keep electrical equipment away from water
  • Make sure earth leakage switch installed on mains supply
  • Secure and protect extension leads from damage and used from individual power points with leads not exceeding 30 metres
  • Keep testing and tagging current e.g 3 monthly
Access/housekeeping
Activities/instructions More information

  • Keep working area clear/tidy
  • Manage trip hazards e.g. material neatly stacked
  • Dispose excess mortar appropriately e.g. designated areas
Manual tasks
Activities/instructions More information

  • Use mechanical equipment (e.g. forklifts, trolleys, cranes) to reduce the force needed to lift, carry, move, hold or restrain material and tools.
  • Adjust equipment to minimise bending, twisting and over-reaching (e.g. adjust height of work platforms to avoid over-reaching).
  • Change work practices or get equipment to avoid repetitive actions or prolonged tasks (e.g. use mechanical sanders rather than hand sanding).
Noise
Activities/instructions More information

  • Wear hearing protection worn when sanding surfaces
  • Ensure controls implemented to minimise exposure e.g. hearing protection
Hazardous substances
Activities/instructions More information

  • Make Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for substances classified as hazardous (e.g. cement, lime, hydrochloric acid)
  • Store hazardous substances safely and securely when not in use
  • Train workers in safe handling of hazardous substances (e.g. wear gloves when handling hydrochloric acid)
  • Label hazardous substances (includes safety and risk phrases)
  • Do not store hazardous substances in food and/or drink containers (e.g. hydrochloric acid not stored in drink bottles)
Hot or cold environments
Activities/instructions More information

  • Recognise illnesses caused by heat exposures e.g. heat stress and heat collapse, dehydration, salt depletion and cramps
  • Ensure workers have adequate fluid intake
  • Recognise cold stress through low air temperatures, wet and windy conditions
  • Ensure workers take precautions e.g. wear cloves, warm dry clothing
Personal Protective Equipment
Activities/instructions More information

  • Ensure workers wearing steel capped boots, hard hat with shade brim, shirts and sunglasses
Amenities
Activities/instructions More information

  • Provide sheltered meal area
  • Ensure workers have access to toilets (1 toilet for each 15 workers or part thereof)
  • Provide hand and face washing facilities (separate from toilets)
  • Ensure workers have access to potable, clean and cool drinking water
  • Make sure first aid equipment provided is hygienic and appropriate for the size and complexity of the project
Emergency preparedness and response
Activities/instructions More information

  • Keep fire extinguishers available and testing current
  • Make sure emergency evacuation plan available
  • Brief workers on emergency evacuation plan
Sun protection
Activities/instructions More information

  • Recognise ultraviolet radiation 3-7 protection required; 8-11 extra protection required
  • Ensure protection by seeking shade, wearing sun protection clothing, broad brim hat, sunglasses and using sunscreen
  • Wear clothing with a 30+ ultraviolet protection factor
  • Wear safety helmets extra brims and neck covers fitted
  • Wear sun glasses and 30 + sun protection
Occupational stress
Activities/instructions More information

  • Monitor work demands and control over work
  • Provide support systems for talking about tough situations at work
  • Provide clear work structures, particularly through times of change
  • Provide recognition and reward to workers
Occupational violence
Activities/instructions More information

  • Use design or engineering measures to change the physical characteristics of the workplace, to reduce the risk, where possible.
  • Change the systems of work or work practices to help reduce risks. For example, train workers in aggressive behaviour management, including the recognition and diffusion of potentially volatile situations; ensure sufficient number of appropriately trained staff, where possible; p rovide for emergency communication; implement a system of communication and support for home visits.



Last updated 17 March 2011