Safety Tip - PPE for Working in the Rig and Cleaning Guns
Posted By DEMILEC
Many spray foam applicators tend to think using proper Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE) is only required when spraying or working around the sprayer.
This is not the case. We need to protect our workers from hazard any time
they are in the spray rig, especially when they’re cleaning guns.
The spray rig is arguably the most potentially hazardous environment our
applicators work in. There are high-pressure hoses, high-voltage electric
wires and connections, and several chemicals like cleaning solvents, some
of which are highly volatile. There are also moving machine and engine
parts, and hot surfaces, not to mention the exhaust from generators and trucks.
Common practice is to keep about 500 psi on the proportioner when the rig
is shut down for transport so even when nothing’s running there’s
a danger of a high-pressure hose suddenly leaking and spraying chemicals
around the rig.
Before entering the spray rig all personnel must don safety glasses and
gloves appropriate to the task they’re engaged in. This is the minimum
PPE required for every entry to the spray rig, but depending on the task
there could be additional levels of protection needed. For instance, if
the warehouseman is loading drums into the rig, he must use leather gloves
and steel-toed boots in addition to his safety glasses.
Cleaning guns and equipment with solvents in the back of the spray rig
is potentially very hazardous. The first level of protection should be
engineering controls such as an exhaust hood to vent the VOCs from the
rig and protect the worker from exposure. The second level is proper PPE
which includes a chemically resistant apron, chemically resistant gloves
and a face shield in addition to the safety glasses already on before
the workers enters the rig. Standard spray suits and common nitrile gloves
are not adequate protection from most solvents so additional protection
must always be used. Proper respirators are also required when handling
Always read the Material Safety Data Sheet for PPE required when handling
chemicals. Also be aware that many chemicals are reactive with others
and can produce gasses that are highly toxic so using them one at a time
and not mixing chemicals is the best practice.
Use common sense and read the MSDS. We, at Demilec, want you to be a valuable
member of the Demilec Family of applicators for decades to come, and we
can all work safely if we abide by OSHA requirements.