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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 Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when using, handling, dispensing and storing flammable hazardous products.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE). Refer to SDS for recommended PPE. Make sure the PPE fits properly, is not torn, ripped, or defective. Use of PPE should be done through a PPE Program, that includes the selection and care of respirators.
  • Make sure that the area where you use products is well ventilated.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Avoid skin contact with hazardous products.
  • Keep unused products in their storage areas.
  • Do not use compressed air to remove dust from clothes or from surfaces.
  • Do not use products from unlabelled containers.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke inside the shop.
  • Do not perform work if unauthorized persons are in the work area (e.g., customers, children, etc.).

What should I do before spray painting?

Make sure you have and wear personal protective equipment including:
  • approved respirator
  • coveralls
  • gloves
  • eye protection

Refer to SDSs and follow precautions for all products 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 the pressure gauge on the compressor periodically. Do not allow the pressure to exceed the recommended level.
  • Ensure that ventilation filters are not blocked.
  • Clean and replace respirator filters regularly.
  • Allow the 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 or any source of ignition.
  • Do not paint with heat lamps on.
  • Do not use compressed air to blow debris or to clean dirt from clothes.

What are some general precautions when using respirators?

  • Make sure if you need to wear a respirator, you are trained in the selection, use, and care of respiratory protection equipment.
  • Inspect respirators before use. Do not use and remove from service any respirators with damaged or cracked facepieces or straps. Throw out 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.

Contact the governmental department for occupational health and safety in your jurisdiction to get additional information on regulatory requirements.


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.
  • Launder or dispose of any clothing that has been contaminated by hazardous products before using again.
  • 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 January 25, 2017

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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.