OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >
What does a painter do?
A painter applies paint and other decorative finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures.
Some of the main duties of a painter are to:
- Prepare surfaces to be painted (includes scraping, removal of wallpaper, etc.).
- Determine what materials will be needed.
- Use, clean and maintain various equipment.
- Supervise apprentices or other workers.
- Provide estimates and invoices for clients.
What are some health and safety issues for painters?
Painters can work at a variety of workplaces, construction sites, homes, etc. and face a constantly changing set of hazards. The hazards include:
- Working at heights.
- Ladders, platforms and scaffolds.
- Working in confined spaces.
- Risk of eye injury.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Risk of injury from falling objects.
- Exposure to moulds, fungi and bacteria.
- Exposure to bird and rodent droppings.
- Exposure to paint products, solvents, lead and other toxic substances.
- Proximity to flammable or combustible materials.
- Working in awkward positions, or performing repetitive physical tasks.
- Standing for long periods of time.
- Lifting heavy or awkward objects.
- Exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation.
- Electrical hazards from working close to live electrical power lines or equipment.
- Shift work or extended work days.
What are some preventive measures for painters?
- Learn correct procedures for working at heights.
- Select the correct ladder for the job.
- Avoid awkward body positions or take frequent breaks.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Know how to prevent injury from electrical hazards. Maintain safe distances from energized electrical equipment or utility lines.
- Keep tools and equipment, and their safety features, in good working order.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and footwear.
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Learn safety procedures for working in confined spaces.
- Maintain good ventilation during painting.
- Know how to prevent exposure to bird and rodent droppings.
What are some good general safe work practices?
- Practice safety procedures for:
- Follow company safety rules.
- Learn about chemical hazards, WHMIS and MSDSs.
- Know how to report a hazard
- Follow good housekeeping procedures.
Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.