If you’ve never done interior painting for a living, you might think it’s one of the safer jobs you can have in the home building and remodeling industry. It can even be safer than painting home exteriors, which can involve ladders that reach to the second or third story.
However, it’s essential not to ignore the potential dangers and to be sure that your employer is doing everything they can to prevent injuries and health problems. Some of the more common injuries result from the physical requirements of the job. Others are caused by the materials that painters use. Here’s an overview of the worst dangers:
Slips, trips and falls
Painters do much of their work on ladders. Often, those ladders have to be placed at odd angles and uneven surfaces like stairways, in bathtubs and more.
Rotator cuff tears, muscle strains and repetitive stress injuries
Painters are often reaching upward as they use paint rollers, with their necks at odd angles. They may need to twist their backs. All of this can cause injuries to muscles and ligaments. Of course, so can carrying full gallons of paint.
Exposure to paint and other fumes and toxic chemicals
Breathing in paint fumes in a small, poorly ventilated area can cause respiratory illnesses and even lung disease. Painters are often working with glue, lacquer, paint thinners and other substances that contain toxic chemicals. Proper ventilation and face coverings that protect the nose and mouth are necessary.
Paint and other substances can splatter in their eyes, causing serious injuries. That’s why wearing well-fitting eye protection like goggles is essential.
Whether you’re doing freelance work for a painting contractor or your teen is working for a local handyman service this summer to earn some money, it’s essential that the employer places a premium on the safety and health of all of their workers. Don’t hesitate to report an injury or other health issue to your employer and to make sure you get the compensation you need for medical care and other expenses.