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The Importance of OH&S and Work Safety in Powder Coating Equipment Manufacturing, Usage and Maintenance

May 25, 2017

As an inherently nontoxic parts-finishing process, powder coating technology does not threaten the environment. But, and this is an important point, the equipment and materials do pose a threat to an operator. Just like any area that's reserved for a manufacturing operation, there are risk factors to address. Starting with the workshop premises, there are OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) guidelines that exist to keep everyone and everything safe.

Determining The Risk Factors

A safe working environment comes before all other considerations. In order to maintain that safety margin, the hazards associated with every stage of the process must be known in some detail. Again, this is essentially a work-congenial process, but it is a manufacturing technique, so a few hazards will always be in play. A hot curing oven, for example, will cause serious burns if it's mishandled. Likewise, the tiny powder granules are airborne, which means they could be breathed in until they cause respiratory problems. Finally, high voltages and corrosive stripping chemicals exist in different sections of the workshop, so only authorised personnel should be walking these floors.

Satisfying Regulatory Concerns

A few of the next regulatory dealings may sound like self-evident facts, but there's always one contractor out there who favours a short cut. The OH&S directives don't tolerate shortcuts, not in any form. Anyway, back to safeguards. All of those cleansing agents and caustic scrubbing chemicals need to be stored properly. At best, they could exude a vapour that burns a sensitive eye. At worst, however, they represent a fire hazard. Over at the processing cubicle, the equipment bay requires a sealing hood, a covering that stops the powder from leaking. Exhaust fans and powder reclamation systems take care of the airborne particles, but protective gear, especially goggles and a dust mask (www.worksafe.au), must be worn at all times during the application stage. Remember, these airborne particles are not usually toxic, but the fine dust will irritate an operator's respiratory airways.

Once out in the field, in the place the workpiece will function, it's certain to be dry and weather-resistant. However, the manufacturing equipment that produces this eco-friendly product does possess the potential to harm an inattentive operator. Additionally, the strong airflow and electrostatic charge used in the powder coating cubicle requires careful consideration, for there are commercial-grade air compressors and high-voltage appliances providing powder drive energy. Keep all of these discrete system parts in mind, and remember that all of this equipment requires maintenance if it's to work safely and efficiently.

GP Industries Pty Ltd

Head Office

1 Regal Court,
Vermont South VIC 3133

Phone: (03) 9802 1355

Fax: (03) 9802 6027

Email: gp_ind@bigpond.com

Factory

Factory G,
20 Burgess Road,
Bayswater North VIC 3153

Phone: (03) 9761 7676

Fax: (03) 9761 7671

Email: gpfactory@bigpond.com

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