Cars are one of the most common forms of transportation in the world. So, it should come as no surprise that the modern automotive and motor vehicle manufacturing industry is one of the top employment industries in the world. The industry is a hazardous one, with lots of moving parts and plenty of opportunities for injury. The dangers present are why wearing PPE on the job is so important. One position that is known for its inherent risk is painting.
Painters work with a variety of toxic paints, sealers, and adhesive coatings. They need a range of PPE to guard against these hazards.
A good paint job is vital to keeping a car well-maintained.
MCR Safety supports the automotive industry by providing exceptional, affordable PPE gear that painters are likely to need on the job to protect themselves from the hazards they face at work. We're committed to safeguarding painters from harsh paint chemicals by offering high-quality paint gloves, safety glasses, and protective clothing.
We offer a variety of robust and waterproof gloves to ensure paint and other liquids never touch your hands. Our gloves come equipped with a snug fit to hug your hands while offering maximum tactile grip and sense of touch, so you don't lose any dexterity and can perform your job safely and effectively. Combine form-fitting gloves with Anti-Fog face shields and comfortable aprons, and you'll be painting with premier protection.
We believe you work better when you are both comfortable and safe. If you use toxic paints and chemicals in your automotive paint job, we have the PPE you need to protect yourself on the job every day. Below, you will find information on car painters, the health hazards they face, and suggestions for our top PPE to keep them protected.
Who Painters Are and What They Do
Painters, especially car painters, operate spray-painting machines to paint automobile surfaces. They may also apply sealers and adhesives. While the majority of painting on new vehicles is automated, some specialized work and detailing still need to be done by hand.
The chemicals in these industrial paints and liquids pose many hazards to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. A car painter is responsible for a variety of tasks that may expose them to these hazards. A typical day on the job may include:
- Mixing paints to achieve a specified color, or stirring and thinning paints either by hand or with power mixing equipment;
- Removing dirt, grease, old paint, or rust from vehicle surfaces to prepare for painting;
- Spray painting surfaces with primers, color, and finishes; and
- Disposing of hazardous waste per guidelines.
While every automotive painter should have the proper training to do their job safely, accidents can still happen. Every worker on the paint floor needs to take necessary precautions, including wearing the right PPE.
Jobs in Paint and the Top Industries for Employment
Automotive painters work in all areas of the automotive industry, but you'll most often find them working in:
The #1 place of employment for painters is in the automotive repair and maintenance industry, which generates around $838 billion a year for U.S. companies. The top sector for auto painters within automotive repair and maintenance is in body and paint shops.
In all of the above industries, auto painters ensure both new and used vehicles look their best with impeccable paint jobs. These three links will take you directly to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) pages regarding painting occupations, both within and outside the automotive industry:
Automotive Painter: Body Shop and Paint Shop Applications
Painting in a body and paint shop is a little different than painting a new car on an assembly line. Unlike in manufacturing facilities where the painting is mostly automated, paint shops usually rely on hands-on spray-painting. The process traditionally begins with filling, sanding, and cleaning the car's body panels before spraying them by hand. In paint body shops, painters not only paint but repair scratches, scuffs, dents, and bodies of automobiles.
Here are some of the tasks likely to be performed by auto painters in body shops:
- Applying adhesive coatings and sealers
- Polishing and positioning workpieces
- Spraying paint
- Surface treatments
No matter what tasks a body shop painter is doing, this kind of work requires quality PPE for employees' safety.
Health and Safety Concerns
When working as a painter in a body shop, there are many health and safety risks to keep in mind. An excellent resource for anyone seeking additional insight into health and safety is Painter: OSH Answers. It dives into the hazards and risks associated with the job of painting in a variety of applications.
o Contact with solvents, lead, and other toxic substances
Painters work with a variety of chemicals that pose a threat to bare skin. Cleaning solvents, paint, and sealers can all be caustic or cause serious illness if absorbed through the skin. Frequent exposure to these toxins can cause skin irritation and rashes, blisters, first- or second-degree burns, eye-watering, and sinus problems.
o Eye injuries from liquid splash
Any number of small accidents can cause a toxic liquid in a body shop to splash up into a worker's face. While these liquids aren't suitable for any part of your body, they can cause immediate and permanent damage to your eyes. For this reason, auto painters are required to wear goggles or safety glasses at all times.
o Eye injuries from sanding and grinding bare metal or painted surfaces
Anytime you sand, scrape, or grind something, airborne particulates are created. It's easy for these minuscule particles to irritate and scratch the surface of your eyes. When sanding and preparing surfaces for painting, auto painters should wear face shields to protect their eyes from floating particles.
o Skin irritation
It can be challenging to contain paint particles when spray painting. The droplets are so small; you may not even notice them settling on your skin at first. However, the chemicals in the paint can be caustic enough to cause redness, rash, irritation, itching, and burning.
Black Nitrile Disposable Gloves
The best way to keep your skin safe from accidental paint exposure is to cover it with protective clothing. PPE for painting hazards, including disposable clothing, comes in many different fabrics that are breathable, durable, and abrasion-resistant. Because it is disposable, you can throw it out after a few uses and not worry about bringing chemicals with you off the work floor.
o Contact while mixing paint products
Mixing paint and painting products is an easy way to be exposed to paint and fumes. Always mix materials in a designated, well-ventilated area and wear a mask, goggles, and protective clothing. If mixing by hand, disposable gloves are a must. Be sure to dispose of single-use gloves properly.
Automotive painters can always protect themselves from the hazards mentioned above by wearing appropriate safety equipment.
Safety goggles, face shields, thick coveralls, gloves, and steel-toe boots are all valuable PPE to wear on the job.
Our next section highlights the top products we find painters wear.
MCR Safety's Best Spray-Painting PPE
Here are ten PPE styles MCR Safety offers to protect those painting:
1.Green Nitrile Paint Glove – It's an oldie but a goodie due to its 15 mils of nitrile protection, flock lining, and good dexterity.
2. Nitrile/PVC Bi-Polymer – Our lightest featherweight 18-gauge lined waterproof glove provides durable protection.
3. Black Nitrile Disposable Gloves – Black gloves are loved by many, and this disposable option makes them an affordable piece of replaceable PPE.
4. Grippaz™ – For those who need a firm grip when wearing disposable nitrile gloves, these offer a traction grip.
5. Face Shields – We document everything you need to know here concerning face shields.
6. Tyvek® – DuPont™ Tyvek® coveralls are rugged, yet comfortable to wear.
7. Goggles – We now have a goggle solution that provides 6X more exceptional anti-fog performance and is D3 rated for splash.
8. Aprons and Sleeves – Heavy-duty neoprene and PVC aprons will keep the paint off you
9. Safety Glasses – Some applications involve no liquid or chemicals, but you still want to keep those eyes protected.
10. Lisle – The perfect glove for when you need to run your hand over the vehicle's body during the quality inspection as you look for any imperfections.
Keep in mind; we've only highlighted MCR Safety PPE that pertains to safety glasses, work gloves, and protective garments. Painters require additional PPE to guard against risks mentioned in the above OSH: Painters link. Painting requires in-line respirators, which are not PPE MCR Safety supplies. Here are some excellent resources to consider reading with regards to spray painting respirators:
Q&A - Before We Wrap Things Up
We've covered a lot of material above, but we want to make sure we highlight common questions and topics discussed with users about spray-painting. You'll notice that the four questions below all have a general theme:
- How to get spray-paint off?
- How to get spray paint off hands?
- How to remove spray paint from skin?
- How to get spray paint off clothes?
Soap and water alone usually aren't enough to remove paint from your hands or skin unless the paint is still wet. Remember that while attempting to remove paint, PPE should always be worn – the chemicals found in paint removers can be toxic and hazardous themselves. Be sure to read the MSDS for the paint removing chemical you're using to ensure you have the correct protection in place. It's almost a given that goggles and chemical-resistant gloves will be included on the MSDS. Also, be sure to check our chemical permeation database [WA1] for specifics regarding chemical permeation times. We have compiled some website resources to help you figure out how to remove paint from unwanted places best.
- Graffiti Removal Techniques – Lists advantages and disadvantages to using acetone, alcohol, and lacquer thinner as paint removers.
- Bob Vila: How to Remove Spray Paint – It may be that dish soap, pure essential oil, hot water, and a toothbrush are all the tools you need to get paint off your skin.
- Brad the Painter – Offering pointers for getting spray paint-off clothes, this site suggests you start with cooking oil. Read their post for specifics on removing paint in a wide array of environments.
PPE for Car Painters and Spray-Painters, Problem Solved
Painting cars and vehicles can be a dangerous job. However, with PPE like Grippazä paint gloves and 6X higher-performing anti-fog goggles, automotive painters have never been better protected. Our gloves and protective clothing are made to the highest standards to ensure you can do your job safely and correctly. MCR Safety's superior PPE lets you focus on the work at hand with
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For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there to provide solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at (800) 955-6887.