For all WA automotive body repair employers and paint and panel workshops, there is a WorkSafe WA responsibility to initiate a Health Surveillance program to minimise the risk of permanent health damage to their spray painters from exposure to chemicals known as isocyanates.
This is often known as spray painter health checks or spray painter health monitoring.
To get your Spray Painter Health Surveillance program managed from our mobile service that comes to your work site, please contact us 9204 1999.
If you are a Motor Trade Association of WA member, please quote your MTA member number to receive a discount on your spray painter health surveillance assessments. As a reminder, it is the chemicals called isocyanates, commonly found in two-pack paints that represent the hazardous exposure for spray painters.
What is included in a spray painter health check?
A spray painter health check, or spray painter health surveillance assessment, includes a lung function test, skin and eye check and a health questionnaire.
These are usually done 6 monthly or annually, pending the health assessment outcome and guidance by the Occupational Physician.
During the health assessment, safe working practices and the importance of wearing personal protective equipment is discussed and reinforced with each employee. As is a discussion about ensuring a safe working environment and appropriate equipment, with paint and panel employers.
WorkSafe Health Surveillance
WorkSafe’s guidelines for health surveillance can be found here.
Who is at risk of Isocyanate exposure
Jobs that may involve exposure to isocyanates include:
- blowing foam insulation
- working with polyurethane products such as polyurethane foam, insulation materials, surface coatings, foam mattresses, under-carpet padding, packaging materials, laminated fabrics,
- working with polyurethane rubber and adhesives.
What are the dangers from exposure to isocyanates?
The health risks include:
- occupational asthma
- irritation of the skin (dermatitis) and mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and throat)
- pneumonitis and chest tightness.