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What does a painter do?

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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?

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Painters can work at a variety of workplaces, construction sites, homes, etc. and face a constantly changing set of hazards. The hazards include:

What are some preventive measures for painters?

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  • Check safety data sheet (SDS) of the paint or coating product for the selection and use of appropriate personal protective equipment and safe use of the product.
  • Evaluate the work area for existing and potential hazards. Know the control measures of the identified hazards and associated risks.
  • Learn the correct procedures for working at heights.
  • Select the correct ladder for the job. Use extended handle paintbrush whenever possible, and eliminate the use of ladders.
  • Avoid awkward body positions and take breaks when needed.
  • 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?

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  • Fact sheet last revised: 2020-10-22