Safety Primer: Use the Right PPE for Painting Jobs

George Davis

Essential PPE for Painting

Skin irritations, respiratory problems, and fire are among the most common hazards posed by painting operations. Besides adequate administrative and engineering controls, proper PPE (personal protective equipment) should be provided to workers to protect them from these hazards. Additionally, employers should seek the assistance of a Shipyard Competent Person (SCP), a Certified Marine Chemist (CMC), or a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) in selecting the appropriate PPE for painting operations.

PPE Selection Guidelines

  • Different kind of PPE might be required for various spray applications and hand applications in painting operations.
  • Basic PPE used for painting consists of chemical protective suit with hood, respiratory protection, rubber gloves and chemical-resistant boots.
  • PPE selected must protect employees from all forms of chemicals (solids, vapors, liquids, and mists).
  • PPE must protect the skin from spills, splashes and sprays.
  • When workers are at the risk of neck and head exposure, their suits must have attached hoods.
  • When workers use respirators, hoods must be tightened over the respirator to prevent interference with the face seal.


  • Airline respirator – spray painting in confined spaces
  • Air-purifying respirator – spray painting in confined spaces where ventilation is enough to reduce atmospheric concentration
  • Air-line respirator – spray painting in a compartment
  • Air-purifying respirator – spray painting in a compartment for a short period
  • Air-purifying respirator – brush painting in confined spaces without adequate ventilation

Additional Safety Considerations

  • Employees must don non-static discharge producing PPE when they have to work with flammable solvents. Their safety boots must also come with shoe covers.
  • Every employee must don slip-resistant soled boots when working on slippery surfaces.
  • Workers must wear gloves under the sleeves of their protective clothing. They may also seal them with a tape for better protection from liquids.
  • Make sure the legs of your protective clothing are worn over the boots.
  • Safety boots or shoes that are not liquid proof must be worn with protective impermeable covers over them.
  • Slip-resistant soled boots should be worn when working on slippery surfaces.

Call (877) 814-0779 today to speak with one of our safety solutions experts.


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