Working in an auto garage means that employees may be constantly exposed to certain chemicals relating to the certain elements that exist in an auto garage. Specifically speaking, if your auto shop deals with spray painting vehicles, employees may be prone to more than just getting paint on their clothes. Chemicals found in spray paint, called isocyanates, are a powerful irritant that can cause damage to eyes and respiratory organs and may lead to claims on your company’s garage insurance. Direct skin contact with this chemical may also cause inflammation. Here are some of the health effects of working with isocyanates:
Sensitization and Asthma: Isocyanates can sensitize workers, making them subject to severe asthma attacks if they’re exposed more frequently.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Workers exposed to isocyanates often develop symptoms related to hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Symptoms are often flu-like, including fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Difficulty breathing may also occur.
Cancer: According to data from a recent study, courtesy of OSHA, cancer is associated with exposure to commercial grade isocyanates.
The following is a case study relating to an employee who spray painted cars:
A 37 year old male was admitted to the hospital with asthma symptoms. After working in the same environment for 20 years, the car painter was diagnosed with asthma as the result of inhaling isocyanates and was advised to switch jobs. He continued to spray paint cars, and ended up experiencing a severe asthma attack that require emergency transport to the hospital. Doctors concluded the attack was the result of continuing exposure to isocyanates.
As the owner of an auto shop, it’s important that you’re making sure your employees are staying safe when it comes to spray painting vehicles. Using masks to cover eyes and mouths is a good way to keep the risks at bay, and make sure your ventilation system is also working properly.
At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, we hope our clients are getting educated on the certain risks their businesses face. For more information, please give us a call today!