Painting and decorating may seem like a relatively unproblematic career, but, as with many trades, there are a number of risks to consider. Typically, the risks we might think of can include anything from falling from ladders to tripping over paint pots, but what about the lesser-known dangers?
As a decorator, there are many things you need to be aware of to ensure you’re using the proper protective equipment for the situation and your health. Insurance will provide protection for your business in cases where the public are affected by any of the risks mentioned below, however, you should take care regardless. Below, we’ve gathered some of the unexpected risks that painters and decorators face.
While the chances of your pregnancy being affected by painting or the fumes associated with it are incredibly slim, it’s still important to be aware of the risks and take the right precautions. Most modern paints are safe to use for expectant mothers, however, it’s important to take care around old paintwork or paints due to the potential that they contain lead. Solvent-based paints also hold this risk, so it’s important to take care with what you use and when.
Typically, it’s the first 12-13 weeks of your pregnancy where a baby may be most at risk of issues caused by these paints, however, you can take extra care by only using water-based paints and ensuring that all rooms and areas you’re painting are well-ventilated. Wearing face masks, long sleeves and trousers and gloves also provide additional protection.
We all know that the UK’s weather can be unpredictable at the best of times and for decorators, this can pose more of an issue than you might think. When decorating outdoors, rain could mean a missed day of work, the sun could lead to heatstroke or sunburn or a sudden weather change could ruin a day’s decorating completely.
Indoors, the weather doesn’t pose quite as much of a risk, but decorators still need to be aware of bringing in water on their shoes, open windows that may let in bugs when the weather’s warm, or even overheating while working in particularly sunny or warm rooms. Making sure you have the right workwear for the weather and that you always have plenty of water on hand during hot days can really help to avoid health risks.
Inhaling Toxic Matter
Face masks of the right classification can protect painters and decorators from a whole host of pollutants and chemicals. On a daily basis, painters and decorators can be exposed to toxic fumes from paints, varnishes and solvents, as well as dust, moulds, fungi and other hazardous materials like asbestos and lead. These kinds of toxic pollutants can lead to lung problems, cancers, asthma and in some rare cases, even fertility issues. Wearing a mask can help to prevent these and should always be a standard part of your PPE.
Whether you’ve made a mistake or your client isn’t happy with the final result, confrontation with clients is a risk that you may face as a painter or decorator. The same can also be said for clients that have been injured or whose property has been damaged. If clients are upset or angry, you may face confrontation that you may not be prepared for.
Public Liability Insurance for Painters and Decorators will offer financial protection against claims made by clients, however, it’s important to make sure that in cases where clients may become confrontational, you maintain professionalism and take yourself out of the situation. Writing down any boundaries crossed and when can also provide you with additional support if legal proceedings take place.
As a painter or decorator, you’ll be exposed to paints, chemicals, solvents and more throughout any standard workday, and it’s these that can cause skin problems over time. There are several factors that can play into the development of occupational skin disorders, including exposure to chemicals, irritants and corrosives, as well as inconsistent use of PPE or allergic reactions to the PPE used. Some of the most common skin conditions associated with painters and decorators include contact dermatitis, infections from cuts and abrasions and the effects of solar radiation and UV rays. If you experience any redness, itching, swelling, pain, burning, dry skin, or other unusual reactions to any chemicals used, it’s important to contact a doctor immediately. Similarly, you should be using gloves and long sleeves where possible to prevent skin irritation as a result of chemical or solvent exposure.
For more information about how the right business insurance policy can help protect you and your painting and decorating business from some of the risks above, or for more information on how we can help you find the right policy for your business, feel free to get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.