Garages - Autobody Repair

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What are some general precautions to know when making repairs?

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  • 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 the procedures shown on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when using, handling, dispensing and storing hazardous products.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE). Refer to the SDS for the recommended PPE. Make sure the PPE fits properly and is not torn, ripped, or defective. Use of PPE should be done through a PPE Program, that includes the selection and care of respirators, gloves, and eye and face protection.
  • Make sure that the area where you use products is well-ventilated.
  • Wash your hands before eating, drinking, smoking, or using the bathroom.
  • Avoid skin contact with hazardous products.
  • Keep unused products in the appropriate storage areas.
  • Use safe ergonomic practices to reduce pain or injury from awkward positions, tools, repetitive manual tasks, or lifting heavy objects
  • Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment to avoid slips, trips and falls
  • Do not use compressed air to remove dust from clothes or from surfaces.
  • Do not use products from unlabeled 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?

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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 the paint room are accessible and clear before painting.
  • Use a high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) system. HVLP systems will reduce respiratory and skin exposure, as well as be more efficient with paint, primers, etc.
  • 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.
  • Make sure that the ventilation systems are operational, and filters are not blocked. Downdraft ventilation spray paint booths have a lower concentration of paint overspray and a cleaner paint finish that requires less buffing. 
  • Clean and replace respirator filters regularly.
  • Allow the ventilation system to run for 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?

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  • 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.  Always perform a fit test before working. 
  • 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?

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  • 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 hazardous products have contaminated before using it again.
  • Close all containers immediately after their use to minimize vapour being released into the air.
  • Follow the manufacturer's direction for set-up, cleaning, and maintenance of the spray system, spray guns, and spray booth ventilation.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2024-03-20