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Garages - Autobody Repair

What are some general precautions to know when making repairs?

  • Make sure all motors inside the shop are turned off. If you must run the motor while inside the shop, make sure the local exhaust is attached to the muffler and that the exhaust is vented to the outside.
  • Follow procedures shown on MSDS's when using, handling, dispensing and storing flammable liquids and chemicals.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE). Refer to MSDS for recommended PPE. Make sure the PPE is not torn, ripped or defective.
  • Make sure that the area where you use chemicals is well ventilated.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Avoid skin contact with chemicals.
  • Keep unused chemicals in their storage areas.
  • Do not use compressed air to remove dust from clothes or from surfaces.
  • Do not use chemicals from unlabelled containers.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke inside the shop.

What should I do when spray painting?

Wear personal protective equipment including:
  • approved respirator
  • coveralls
  • gloves
  • eye protection

Follow precautions for all chemicals used, especially isocyanates. Refer to standards and regulations for more information.

  • Ensure fire escape doors from paint room are clear before painting.
  • Use only properly grounded spray paint equipment.
  • Check pressure gauge on compressor periodically. Do not allow pressure to exceed recommended level.
  • Ensure that ventilation filters are not blocked.
  • Clean and replace respirator filters regularly.
  • Allow ventilation system to run several minutes before turning on the heat lamps.
  • Store no more than one day's supply of paint near the spray area.
  • Do not spray paint near grinding or welding operations.
  • Do not paint with heat lamps on.
  • Do not use compressed air to blow debris or to clean dirt from clothes.

What are some precautions when using respirators?

  • Inspect respirators before use. Discard respirators with damaged or cracked facepieces or straps. Discard used dust masks and canisters.
  • Respirators offer protection only if they fit properly. Use the following test to check the fit:
    • cartridge-type respirator - place your hands over the cartridge and inhale. If no air comes through, the respirator fits properly. If air comes through, readjust the straps and try again.
    • air-supplied respirator - follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding required air flow. Make sure that no air can come in from the outside.
  • Report any problems, especially if you find it difficult to breathe through the mask or if you notice a strange odour or taste. Breakthrough cannot be detected for isocyanates - always use an air-supplied respirator when working with isocyanates.

What are other safety tips when refinishing?

  • Use vacuum sanders or specially ventilated work stations when possible to reduce exposure to dusts.
  • Wear appropriate chemical-resistant gloves, and respirators when using solvents or chemicals, or when mixing paints.
  • Use non-hazardous cleaning products to remove paints that have spilled on the skin.
  • Close all containers immediately after their use to minimize vapour being released into the air.
  • Use a high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) system. HVLP systems will reduce respiratory and skin exposure, as well as being more efficient with paint, primers, etc.
  • Follow the manufacturer's direction for set-up, cleaning, and maintenance of the spray system, spray guns, and the spray booth ventilation.

Document last updated on December 1, 2009


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.