The work may appear straightforward, but in fact, painters are tasked with many different roles in homes, commercial outlets and public buildings. They have to mix paint to match colors precisely, treat the surfaces that will be covered, and ensure a smooth and seamless finish. Some people who work in the trade may concentrate on smaller touch-ups and cosmetic repairs, while others manage many large projects for construction companies and offices.
Painting is not only physically demanding, but it also comes with various risks that need to be minimized before beginning any job. Painters often need to reach awkward or high places to paint, which can result in a fall, and they are working with compounds that release fumes that can have toxic effects. These and other risk factors can be mitigated, but you may need to make changes to your day-to-day working practices in order to do so.
Cut your exposure to toxic chemicals
Paints are made using a range of chemicals that give them stability, anti-mold properties and longevity. Unfortunately, these can cause various health issues in people who work with them regularly. Problems can include feelings of dizziness and disorientation that can quickly lead to an accident. As well as finding less toxic paints to work with, you should also choose the most effective respiratory protective equipment for the task at hand. Spray painters need a paint respirator to prevent tiny particles of the product from entering their airways. If you’re applying the product with a brush or roller, use a quality respirator mask. Note the safety information on the product you are using and try to keep the area ventilated to avoid a build-up of fumes. On days that are particularly still, use a fan to encourage faster airflow.
Decrease your risk of falling from a ladder
Ladders are a vital part of a painter’s tool kit – without them, it would be more time-consuming and challenging to paint at a height. Using them is not without risk, however, as workers can easily set a ladder at the wrong angle, causing it to slide out or tilt back when in use. Either movement can lead to serious spinal injuries, broken limbs and skull fractures for the person involved. To avoid this, you can begin by checking that the ground is dry and offers plenty of traction. If you’re satisfied with the terrain, angle your ladder carefully and put a protective barrier around your work area. This ensures that passers-by will not accidentally bump into the ladder when you’re using it. As you start to walk upwards, keep at least three points of contact on the rungs at all times to remain secure and keep your balance. Finally, wear slip-resistant boots with sturdy soles that are free from water or mud.
Reassure clients and protect yourself with painting contractor insurance
People in the trade obtain painters insurance to cover themselves in case of breakages at a client’s home and for those rare times when jobs go wrong. A certificate of insurance confirms that you are a professional in the eyes of potential clients, and some may ask to see the paperwork before using your services. Next Insurance has a selection of policies to cover the tasks you take on every day. These are simple to arrange online when it’s convenient for you. Visit the firm’s website to get painters insurance that’s designed to fit in with the work you do and your budget. You won’t be asked to fax over your details or make a phone call, and your cover can be ready in minutes.
Work safely on a scaffold
Unless you have been trained for the role, you won’t be putting up scaffolding. However, knowing how to use the right protective equipment and following safe working practices is essential. Painters are called upon to use scaffolding when they need to work on tall structures and get a good position on walls, frames or ceilings. Scaffolds can become busy, so to keep yourself and your co-workers safe, always check that the scaffold has been inspected by trained personnel before starting work. Wear a hard hat to prevent head injuries from falling items and boots with a non-slip sole to keep you stable. To free up your hands and prevent you from accidentally dropping a tool onto a person working below, use a tool lanyard. Once you’re done for the day, take everything you brought onto the scaffold away with you – this lowers the risk of someone tripping over your materials when you aren’t around.