The chemicals that are emitted by powder coating equipment can explode or burst into flames if certain mistakes are made by the employees who operate this equipment in a manufacturing facility. Read on to find out what these mistakes are.
Smoking cigarettes within a few feet of the powder coating booth
Most industrial facilities that use powder coatings on their products have special booths in which these coatings are applied. In most cases, the operator of the equipment stands just outside the booth and points the nozzle of the powder coating container at a product that is housed inside the booth. This approach to applying powder coatings significantly reduces the amount of powder coating dust that ends up floating around the other parts of the facility, as the booth helps to contain any dust particles that have been flung into the air.
However, many employees in facilities that use this type of equipment assume that the use of a booth prevents every single particle of powder coating dust from escaping. Based on this incorrect assumption, they then feel it is safe to take cigarette breaks close to the powder coating booth.
The truth is that if even a few particles of the airborne powder coating dust land on their lit cigarette, an explosion could occur, which could leave them and other nearby employees with severe injuries. As such, it is crucial for employees to avoid smoking cigarettes anywhere near the booths in which the powder coatings are applied.
Wearing coveralls during lunch breaks
Those tasked with operating powder coating equipment will usually be provided with coveralls. This outerwear acts as a barrier which stops the powder coating particles from coming into contact with the operator's skin and causing irritation or rashes.
If the equipment operator does not remove this outerwear when they go for their lunch break, there is a chance that they may cause a fire to break out or an explosion to occur when they return to their work after they have finished their meal.
For example, if during their lunch break, they spill a liquid that contains solvents (such as a degreasing cleaning product or a toiletry product) on their outwear, and they then proceed to use the powder coating equipment, their outwear could potentially catch on fire, as the solvent could act as an ignition source.
Given this, it is extremely important for the equipment operator to remove their outwear before going for their break.