Working in environmentally sensitive areas
Environmentally sensitive areas include those that would be dramatically affected by exposure to fumes, dust, lead, runoff or noise.
Examples include paint spills into waterways and upwind sandblasting adjacent to a school or playground. Paint waste can contaminate soil.
Marina owners and managers must be aware of their responsibilities to inform and supervise contractors and boat owners, who may pollute the waterways by painting, stripping or anti-fouling vessels.
Safe working methods should be developed for all work in sensitive areas. Insurers expect statements of such methods, and occupational health and safety implications mean that the principal contractor or owner should insist on developing them.
Occupational health and safety
It is beyond the scope of this guide to detail the occupational health and safety requirements for painters on site.
An occupational health and safety plan needs to developed and adhered to. Just a few of the important points to remember:
- Vapours from paints and solvents can cause harmful effects to workers. Allow adequate ventilation when working in enclosed areas or use breathing apparatus. The escape of such vapours must be strictly controlled to avoid harm to nearby people.
- Do not smoke near open cans of paint.
- Health hazards are associated with working with lead paint.
- Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets from the manufacturers for all potentially dangerous substances.
For further information contact the Master Painters Australia NSW Association Inc. or WorkCover NSW.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011