A portable paint sprayer is an incredible tool to produce a high-quality paint job in a fraction of the time compared to traditional brush and roller methods.
However, with these new advantages also come along some safety precautions that need to be adhered to when on the job.
In this short guide, we are going to let you in on some safety tips when using a portable paint sprayer.
Let’s get to it!
Safety tips when using your sprayer.
Don’t try to stop leaks.
One of the most common safety risks of using a portable paint sprayer is the risk of injecting paint into your body.
Most people inject themselves due to subconsciously attempting to try and prevent a leak from the paint sprayer. This knee jerk reaction can be hard to stop but it is crucial that you never try to stop a leak with your hands even if you are wearing protective gear.
The high speed atomized paint is actually powerful enough to pierce through your skin and other materials.
If a leak occurs, switch the machine off and do not use the sprayer until the leaking part is replaced. Due to the high pressure of the system, any self-repairs are likely to fail quickly which would run the risk of a paint injection injury.
While these wounds can look like an ordinary cut they can indeed be extremely lethal injuries.
Even in the absence of pain we recommend seeking medical attention right away as the faster help is received the less damage will occur. Be sure to tell the medical team what specific substance you were injected with so that can treat you appropriately.
Always point the tip away from yourself and others.
Especially when the portable paint sprayer is switched on. This is a good habit to get into as it may prevent accidentally spraying yourself or someone else.
Use a tip guard when spraying.
A tip guard will help prevent your hand or body coming too close to the tip. If your model has one (or can be fitted with one) we highly recommend using it.
Put the safety on when not in use.
Your portable paint sprayer should have a safety latch or a trigger lock to prevent accidental spray. Using this when you are not painting will reduce the risk of letting out an unintentional spray while moving your equipment around.
Keep personal belongings in a separately contained area.
This prevents any material passing onto your personal belongings and lunch to reduce any potential risks of contamination.
Wear the right gear.
Some paint/solvents or worksites may have harmful properties, for this reason, we also recommend that you wear the right gear to prevent dangerous exposure.
Spray paint can cause devastating damage to your eyes.
We recommend keeping your eye protective gear on until the sprayer is cleaned and packed away.
The cleaning process can be a high-risk time due to it usually being at the end of a long day with the team are eager to finish up. Even dirty paint water splashed into your eye could be enough to cause an injury so it’s important to always keep them protected.
Lightweight, disposable clothing.
It’s important when choosing your protective material that it is lightweight and comfortable. This will reduce any heat-related risks and enable you to work more safely and efficiently.
A light disposable protective clothing is recommended because it saves time as it can be thrown away at the end of the day but also eliminates the cost and time of cleaning paint covered clothes.
This also means that you leave contaminated materials away from your personal life as bringing them home to clean could result in contaminating the family laundry not to mention the extra risks involved due to the strong solvents required to thoroughly clean paint covered clothes.
While they might not be enough to prevent a paint injection injury they may be able to reduce the severity of one. Not to mention it means your hands don’t come in contact with the substances you are working with which if anything will reduce your clean up time.
A high-quality respirator is a must for everyone working with a portable paint sprayer as individuals who work frequently in the industry run the risk of occupational asthma.
It also prevents the unlikely event of ingesting a toxic substance.
Maintain your sprayer.
We have said many times before that prevention is much better than a cure. Maintaining your portable paint sprayer is a great way to help reduce malfunction based injuries.
Clean & store portable paint sprayer properly.
Cleaning and storing your portable paint sprayer in the right way is the best way to prevent any issues with your machine that could lead to injuries.
Taking that little bit of extra time to remove paint or secure the sprayer during transit can really pay off.
We suggest running a solution of water and anti-freeze through your sprayer every now and then to keep things running smoothly on the inside.
Sprayer tip maintenance.
Keeping your sprayer tip in ‘tip-top shape’ will help prevent any unnecessary issues.
Sprayer tips are infamous for getting clogged and damaged.
Check out our guide on how to unclog your sprayer tip if you run into this issue.
The hose is the most likely part of the sprayer that could cause a paint injection injury. By taking good care of them and replacing them at the first sign of problems you will be making safety a priority for you and your team.
A protective lubricant will help prevent paint from drying onto your portable paint sprayer and stop parts from seizing up.
Fix any electrical issues immediately.
First, check your electrical source and extension cords as it is likely they may be the culprit but if they check out fine it is likely a problem with your sprayer.
Electrical issues are not something to be played around with when it comes to your portable paint sprayer. Electrical malfunctions are a huge safety liability and should be treated with the utmost caution and priority.
Pay attention to where and what you are spraying.
Maintain a clear workspace.
By keeping the work area free from any debris and unnecessary clutter you can reduce the chances of you or a member of your team tripping and falling on the job.
Spray in a well-ventilated area.
Open windows, doors and even use fans if necessary to shift fumes out while bringing fresh air in.
Inspect work area.
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the area you will be working in. That way you will know where to go in case of an emergency but also can identify any potential risks.
Always be on the lookout for any electrical appliances or exposed wiring (especially in a new build or a property undergoing maintenance.)
Further electrical safety.
Grounding is a crucial part of your safety when working with a portable sprayer.
You will need to check two things:
- That the machine is grounded.
- That the area you are spraying is grounded.
Some ‘walls’ can deceptively be made from metal and subsequently, it is important to ensure that what you are actually spraying is grounded.
A great safety precaution is to get your team up to speed on proper grounding methods.
Some of the substances you may be working with are extremely flammable and could explode.
Take extra caution when working with lacquer.
Working with lacquer comes with its own specific risks and in some states, you will be required to receive permission to use it.
Be aware of the warning signs.
Here are some signs that something isn’t right with your portable paint sprayer. Should you encounter any of these be sure to stop right away until the problem is addressed.:
- Electric shock while spraying.
- Sprayer not switching on.
- Gun spitting issues.
- Abnormal spray pattern.
- Constant dripping.
- High-pressure leaks.
- Sprayer not drawing up paint.
Have an immediate action plan in place.
Nobody wants or expects an accident to happen at work, but the reality is that not having an immediate action plan could cause immense damage in the case of an injury.
By training your staff and establishing an immediate action plan they will know how to react appropriately to an emergency situation and reduce the impact an injury can have on the affected individual.
Choosing the right portable paint sprayer.
Portable paint sprayers tend to have a great lifespan but the reality is that the time will come when you will need to replace it for a newer model in the interest of safety and efficiency.
We at Tool Nerds review some of the best models on the market so that you can make an informed decision about choosing the right paint sprayer that will get the job done safely.
If you are considering investing in a new portable paint sprayer be sure to check out some of our most recent reviews.