Metal fence spray painting safety tips can come in handy when you decide to upgrade your existing metal fence. An upgrade of your fencing can come in various forms. Firstly, replacing the whole fence due to extensive damage that has occurred over the years. For example, corrosion has causes metal to break down and deteriorate, the external force has been applied to damage the fence, or you simply need a fresh look.
A much cheaper alternative would be to repaint your existing metal fence. There are different methods available for painting your fence that depend on the scope of the project, finances and time available.
The classical method would be to simply grab the paint and brush and do the painting yourself. If that is what you have chosen to do, take a look at our blog post that talks about the preparation of metal fences for painting: Chipping paint – Metal fencing problems.
If you wanted a much quicker way to paint your fence, spray painting would be your go-to. Let’s look at some of the safety tips when it comes to spray paint.
TIP #1 Hazardous chemicals
Remember that you are working with hazardous chemicals! They may include paints, solvents, powders, acrylic lacquers, enamels, paint removers, resins, adhesives, surface preparation products, rust converters and rust removers.
You need to have proper protection because these chemicals pose a potential health and safety risk. You can either inhale, swallow or absorb chemicals through skin and eyes.
TIP #2 Ventilation
If you have decided to spray paint some of the parts of your metal fence (e.g., gates) in a closed space, make sure you have an exhaust ventilation system that captures overspray and solvent vapour as close to the source as possible. Fans and natural air also helps to displace the contaminated air. Systems should comply with Australian Standard 1482.
Use appropriate PPE. It includes clothing and equipment designed to protect from the risk of injury or illness. When it comes to painting, PPE includes respiratory protective equipment, eye and face protection (safety glasses or face shield), skin protection (gloves), clothing (coverall), and appropriate footwear. Wear antistatic or conductive footwear. They will help to stop the build-up of electrostatic charge. You should avoid wearing old footwear that has paint, oil or wax on the soles.
TIP #4 Fire and explosion hazard
Paints can contain flammable substances. During spray painting, one of the hazards is if painting mist comes into contact with a source of ignition. Some of the possible ignitions sources may be open flames (matches, lighters, cigarettes or welding), hot surfaces (engines) or even light bulbs. Additionally, be careful with electrical equipment and portable electric tools that can cause sparks (abrasive grinding wheels).
How to control the hazard? Eliminate the source of ignition around the spray painting area where you are working on your metal fence. Make sure (if indoors) that your work area is well-ventilated as it will help to prevent the accumulation of flammable vapours. Additionally, it would be wise to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
If you have empty paint, solvent or thinners cans, dispose of them correctly. Until it is done, treat them as they may still contain a residual liquid for safety reasons. Full cans should be stored and handled correctly (in containers with lids).
TIP #5 Electric hazard
When working with spray painting equipment, note that electricity is used. Hence, electrocution and burns are risks associated with it. Therefore, great care has to be taken to prevent static electricity. To find out more, please read AS/NZS 1020: The control of undesirable static electricity.
How to control electrical hazards? Ensure that you have a safe distance between electrical equipment and where you are spray painting your metal fence. When cleaning the spray gun, make sure that the high voltage supply is switched off.
As you can see, working with spray equipment has more hazards than simply using the paint and brush. Hence, if you feel that you are not well-equipped, it would be wisest to leave the job for the professionals.
You can read up more on spray painting and powder coating code of practice on this LINK.
If you need your old metal fence to be replaced, you can turn to Diamond Fence. Our professional team will help out with metal fencing enquiries by providing you with a free quote.
Call us on (03) 9753 4566, shoot us an email at email@example.com or get a FREE online quote.