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The health and safety risk of professional painting

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2022 | Shoulder Injuries

Professional painters may prefer to work on interiors – particularly when the weather is hot. While interior painters may not face the risks associated with working on multi-level buildings, there are health and safety risks that their employers should help them mitigate.

Painters can face the risk of physical injuries as well as health issues caused by the products they’re around. Let’s take a look at a few.

Physical injuries

Falls from ladders or from other high surfaces can cause serious and even permanent injuries. It doesn’t help that painters often have to work at awkward angles with long-handled rollers and find a way to place themselves in bathtubs and unstable, uneven surfaces to reach the areas they need to. This is particularly true when they need to apply finishing touches on a paint job.

These awkward angles and sometimes tight quarters can lead to muscle and back sprains and more. Reaching upward for long periods can cause the rotator cuff to become pinched. This is even called “painter’s shoulder.”

Exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes

Breathing paint fumes in a small area that’s not well ventilated can cause respiratory illnesses. So can breathing in paint thinner, glue, lacquer and the myriad other products that painters regularly work with. Professional-grade masks can help prevent these conditions. So can making sure the area has some ventilation. 

These same substances can also be dangerous to the eyes – especially if they splash. Properly fitting goggles are as important as coverings for the nose and mouth.

Whether you’re a full-time, professional painter or you’re a student who’s working for a friend or family member’s painting business during vacation, you should always report any work-related injury or medical condition as soon as possible. You have a right to seek worker’s compensation to help pay for medical care and lost wages.