Updated Safety Protocols When Powder Coating

June 10, 2020 5:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Working with heavy equipment and powder coating parts requires adherence to strict safety standards. This ensures not only the health and wellbeing of employees, but also that a shop puts out the best product possible. Powder coating, which adds a tough paint-like coating to the outside of metal parts, requires its own type of safety rules. It’s generally considered an environmentally-friendly way to protect parts against corrosion and finish many types of projects, but it still can lead to respiratory problems and even combustion if the materials aren’t handled properly. The following is an overview of safety regulations enforced when powder coating in Umatilla County, OR.

Personal protection standards

Proper training is the key to ensuring that you keep a safe shop. Consistent, regular training that starts the first day on the job will help you and your workers stay on the same page about what’s expected of them, what risks they’re taking on and how to prevent accidents.

Personal protection equipment is also a necessity. OSHA recommends using respirators or dust masks due to the powder released into the air during the process. Safety goggles should also be worn anytime a worker is performing powder coating duties.

Gloves may be worn, but only if they’re designed to protect against electrostatic application, and no matter how tempting it is to use compressed air to get powder coating off your skin, avoid it—it can push the abrasive particles into your eyes, causing serious injury.

Fire protection standards

Fire protection is another important consideration when powder coating, as the powder can ignite if you’re not careful. On its own, the powder is non-flammable, but when it’s being applied with a powder coating gun, it can indeed ignite. The key here is to eliminate all potential sources of ignition, such as by making sure that the part being powder coated is grounded to the metal rack.

If a spark is created while the air is heavy with the powder coating, it can ignite in the air. However, if the part is grounded to the rack, and the rack is appropriately grounded to the floor of the shop, the arc electricity will be discharged to the ground and the powder coating will not ignite. Cleaning this part of the shop regularly will also help keep fire risk down—it all but eliminates the possibility that discharged powder and dust will ignite during a job if an errant spark occurs.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, sprinklers are required in a powder coating booth—OSHA requires sprinklers, and the NFPA requires “automatic fire suppression,” which can include sprinklers. Check your local laws, as some cities or counties go even further in their fire suppression requirements.

When you’re setting up a powder coating booth, make sure you check all federal, state and local regulatory agencies to ensure you’re adhering to the highest level of safety regulations when powder coating in Umatilla County, OR. If you’re simply looking for a shop that can powder coat your parts, call NW Metal Fabricators Inc. today.

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