Use Airless Spray Safely

Airless spray gun safety.

Serious injury can occur if an airless spray unit is not used correctly.

Even small handheld DIY airless spray guns reach pressures which can cause serious fluid injection injury. Never place any part of the body near nozzles or remove guards.

Always ensure that all components of your airless spray machine including airless paint spray hose, spray gun and airless spray tip are rated to a working pressure that exceeds the output of your airless spray pump.

Injection by high-pressure liquid from an airless spray paint machine can be a serious and painful injury. There are many stories of airless spray machine operators being injected with paint or other high-pressure fluids which can result in loss of tissue or even limbs.

Ways to avoid high-pressure injection from an airless spray machine include always using the airless sprayer with all the safety guards which it should have been supplied with from the manufacturer. These include but are not limited to airless spray tip guards, trigger guards, safety locks on airless spray gun triggers and the correct pressure rating for all components including the airless spray paint hose.

Before changing any airless spray tip always relieve the pressure completely at the airless spray pump and lock the trigger on the airless spray gun. Never place any part of the body near the spray tip while it is fitted to an airless spray gun.

Consider avoiding holding an airless spray hose while pressurised unless absolutely necessary. A rupture can cause serious fluid injection injury.

Never continue to use an airless paint spray hose that shows signs of abrasion, wear or any kinking. Instances have occurred where a paint hose has ruptured and an operator without thinking has tried to stop the flow of paint with a hand and experienced high-pressure fluid injection. A bursting airless paint spray hose can also create a lot of mess and damage to property.

Always operate your airless spray machine at the minimum possible pressure to atomise the paint you are spraying. If your airless paint spray sounds as if it may have begun to labour or work much harder switch the machine off and investigate the problem to ensure that it is not malfunctioning and over pressurising.

Always open the bypass valve, sometimes referred to as the prime spray valve, when ever you are not spraying and leave this valve open before turning the machine of. Accidents have occurred where airless spray machines have been turned off while still containing pressure and an unsuspecting person attempts to work on the machine.

When using a solvent-based paints always ensure that the job is grounded electrically to earth, the airless spray hose is conductive from the spray gun back to the airless spray pump, and that the airless spray machine is electrically grounded to earth. Build up of static electricity can occur if grounding is not maintained at a spark from static discharge can ignite vapours causing serious injury and burns.

Always ensure that metal conductive buckets are used to complete grounding and ensure that the airless spray gun is held against this metal bucket when flushing was solvent to ensure electrical grounding and to avoid static discharge sparking.

Ensure that adequate breathing protection is worn and that the work area is adequately ventilated.

Ensure that adequate protective clothing is worn at all times including I protection. Ensure the work area is clear when airless spray painting and that suitable access equipment is used to avoid risk of falling or other injury.

Do not use 1,1,1–trichloroethane, methylene chloride, or other halogenated hydrocarbon solvents or fluids containing such solvents. These fluids and many other fluids may contain chemicals that can react with aluminium in pressurised equipment which can cause chemical reaction and equipment rupture. Refer to your material supplier for compatibility with airless spray painting.

Obviously take care when using any electric powered machines and electric supply leads in wet areas or in wet inclement weather to avoid the risk of electrical shock.

Do not use petrol or diesel powered airless spray machines in enclosed areas. Build up of carbon monoxide can cause death.

Eliminate all ignition sources which may spark in the work area when spraying was solvent-based paint. Even plastic drop costs or synthetic carpets could potentially create a static arc.

Keep a working fire extinguisher at hand while airless spray painting with volatile solvent-based paints.

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