Painting area - meeting - legal and health issues

Following after

So @White has been busy the last couple of months designing and preparing a paintbooth to use at HSBNE. A capacity that has been lacking at HSBNE and would be certainly an added bonus for members.

This is his design.

The ducting would provide constant fresh air in the container.

There have been some discussions about getting people together to talk about how we can design it for electrics, plumbing etc. But in that process we have started to realise the serious health and safety implications that can be had when things are not done properly. And the associated legal liabilities associated with that. It is not like that HSBNE would be able to get away with things that people would do at their homes (EG, paint flushing into the river through stormdrains, dangerous particles ingestion by members, PPE enforcement etc). So we are talking about actual real danger and big fines for non compliance.

to name a few:

  • chemical storage,
  • fumes while stored and while in use,
  • air quality
  • flammability
  • Cleaning of any equipment without a grease trap.

This is the worksafe website with more information:

Instead of building a spray booth we would be able to buy one and get it assesed by an external company. This would mitigate some of the problems.

So we would like to propose a meeting to do a risk assesment on this project. And get the Executive on board for any future legal / insurance issues that can arise from this.

Some quick points:

  • HSBNE is not a workplace, and is not affected by workplace health and safety laws
  • HSBNE rents from the State Government, part of that is abiding by correct environment protection measures.
  • We have a safety culture regardless, and try to make things as safe as possible. We are just not under the legislation that typically would apply.
  • We have a duty to ensure no fire hazards etc as part of our culture and lease requirements.
  • Theres no specific control in our PL/PI insurance regarding this (to my knowledge)

So legal/insurance wise its basically that we dont have the compliance obligations you might expect. However, despite the lack of legal requirement, we want to do as much as possible so that people are safe.

I don’t think we should be looking to purchase an existing booth (thats so difficult as to be impossible). If we feel it necessary we can get the container build assessed.

We have had people try and figure out chemical disposal a few times over the years. Its definitely something that needs properly solving. Ideally we would find a firm who can collect expended chemicals that we make safe via some standard workflows. ie, working with an acid to do anodysing, neutralise the acid, have collected.

I think your list is good. to reiterate:

  1. How do we store paints, solvents and other chemicals? Is there an australian standard we can reference? Do we need to do more than the flammable/hazardous cabinets?
    1. How does this storage deal with fumes etc?
  2. Ventilation in any painting area
  3. Required PPE for any painting area, self provided or otherwise
  4. Cleaning equipment and trapping contaminated water / solvents
  5. Neutralising waste products and storing them
  6. Collection of waste products