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Safety Measures When Powder Coating Materials

November 7, 2018

Just like any other equipment-loaded manufacturing environment, there are hazards to be aware of when the powder coating process gets up to speed. The energy-intensive curing furnace generates heat, which can burn a rashly placed hand. The powder coating materials add a whole other level of danger to the equipment line, though. Those special coating mediums are indeed typically non-toxic, yet they can cause respiratory problems.

Incorporating Safety Measures: Protect Respiratory Systems

While it's true powder coating particles are non-toxic and environmentally safe, those undersized grains do express other risk factors. In their natural state, the spray-gun discharged particles, loaded with pigments and fluidizers, are sharp-edged and so small that they can penetrate an operator's breathing passages. Respiratory problems are likely if someone breathes in the powdery discharge. To prevent exposure to gun-discharged particles on the line, operators must wear special respirators.

Dealing With The Occupational Hazards

There's the respirator now, covering the mouth of a system operator. He's working hard, breathing directly through the face mask, and the job's getting done. But wait, even though his lungs are protected from exposure, that's not enough. A full-face respiratory system is mandated, and the filtration media inside the gear must be rated so that it stops micron-sized powder coating particles. Next, the breathing section should extend until its rubberized outlines cover the nose and eyes of the worker. The free-floating grains could scatch a cornea or enter someone's nasal passages, so this whole face approach is mandated.

Bring In the Safety Apparel

Safety guidelines are being adopted. The operation can't even coat a single hubcap or fence post until the manufacturing area complies with those safety codes. In the pre-processing area, dangerous chemicals are in use. The phosphate mixes must not come in contact with exposed skin. Safety-savvy companies are fully aware of such risk factors. They equip their team members with full-body coveralls, plastic booties and rubber gloves, plus that visor-equipped breathing mask, as mentioned a few short moments ago.

Meanwhile, with the team protected from chemicals, powder exposure, and furnace heat, there's still more work to be done. A safety strategy is drawn up. Training videos are watched. Fire extinguishers and eyewash stations are installed. If an accident does transpire here, then there are safeguards in place. Do, however, remember that there are hazardous compounds floating inside the sealed powder coating booth. Under the right conditions, a spark could combust the air in there and the compounds could support a fiery outbreak. Powder coating system managers are vigilant types, though, which means they maintain the electrostatic rigs and follow every safety measure to the letter.

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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