Powder Coating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements
Although powder coating is fantastic at protecting metals, it doesn’t do as good a job on human skin! There are a lot of safety requirements to consider when powder coating, like airborne particles, harmful substances and potential injuries happening. However, these risks can be overcome with the right safety equipment.
In this article, we break down the personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required when powder coating, and how it can be used to protect you and your workers from potential harm.
Is Powder Coating Toxic?
Powder coat is typically made from pigments and resins, which are non-toxic materials. However, some of the chemicals used during the powder coating process can be dangerous. For example, some powder coats can contain small amounts of titanium dioxide or lead, which are harmful substances that can cause detriment to your health when inhaled in large quantities.
Also, to apply powder coat, you must use equipment like spray guns and ovens, which carry their own risks. If you or your workers regularly use this machinery, then you are being exposed to fumes, which can lead to respiratory problems or other health issues. To avoid this risk, it is highly recommended that you use a breathing apparatus.
What PPE Do I Need to Wear When Powder Coating?
The personal protective equipment that you wear should be analysed on a case-by-case basis. It will depend on if there are any harmful substances or airborne particles. If you’re working in an industrial setting with people above you or machines operating near you, then a helmet might be necessary. Undertake a risk assessment in advance to keep yourself and your workers safe.
In a typical instance, the below should be enough to keep you protected.
• Respiratory protection: Respiratory protection, like a breathing apparatus, will protect you from airborne particles or fumes. It is the most important piece of safety equipment when it comes to powder coating.
Eye protection: Eye protection, like safety glasses, should be worn to protect your eyes from dust and powder. Eye injuries are easy to obtain when powder coating, so wear safety glasses at all times.
Hand protection: Powder coating can be rough on the hands, especially if you’re using a powder gun all day. Wear gloves that are resistant to chemicals and prevent the spray gun from rubbing on your skin.
Protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover the whole of your leg. It is important to protect your skin from any harmful substances or chemicals. Lab coats and aprons are other safe alternatives.
Footwear: Wear shoes or boots with non-slip soles. With so much stray powder and dust on the floor, it can be easy to slip and fall. The right footwear will lower the risk of this happening.
What Other PPE is Needed When for Industrial Coaters?
There are a few additions to the personal protective equipment outlined above that you might want to add for an extra layer of safety.
For example, you might choose to invest in hearing protection. It is worth noting that hearing protection is mandatory when noise levels exceed 80 decibels.
Depending on your workshop, it might also be necessary to invest in fall protection. This is especially important if you or your employees are working from heights. More advanced safety equipment, like full-face respirators, are worth looking at if powder coating is regularly undertaken on your site. They might cost a little bit more, but they’re worth every penny if they keep your team safe!
The important thing is to undertake a risk assessment and regularly check for hazards. If on a risk assessment, you identify that hazardous chemicals are being used, then you’ll need overalls and aprons. However, if this isn’t the case and your powder coat is harmless, then you might only need respirators. Don’t take a one size fits all approach to personal protective equipment. Make sure that it protects you from all potential risks and dangers.
Keeping You and Your Metals Protected
There is a lot that goes into the powder coating process. That’s a lot of work and a lot of upfront investment to get the right machines and safety equipment.
Thankfully, it’s an investment that you don’t need to make when you work with us. We take care of the whole powder coating process on your behalf with an expert team who are covered from head to toe in PPE! We’ll ensure that your metals are protected for years to come with our quick and cost-effective service.
Discover more about how we can help you and arrange your free quote by clicking here to contact our team today.