spray polyurethane foam, health and safety

Good Practices

It is critical to avoid inhalation of, and skin and eye contact with, SPF chemicals, for applicators, helpers, occupants, and adjacent workers. The following good practices include engineering controls, work practices, and PPE intended to reduce the potential for exposure to SPF chemicals via inhalation or skin or eye contact. Consider a combination of engineering controls, work practices, and PPE for SPF applications. Engineering controls must always be the first line of defense against chemical exposure, followed by the use of work practices and PPE.

Engineering Controls: Proper containment and ventilation techniques can help prevent workers and building occupants from potential chemical exposure due to SPF application, particularly in interior applications when buildings cannot be vacated. Containment creates a contained workspace while the ventilation system removes SPF chemicals from the work area by drawing the air out of the workspace through the use if a fan. In addition to the engineering controls, PPE may be needed to further reduce the potential for inhalation exposure.

  • Workplace Containment: Workspace containment is used in conjunction with ventilation to isolate and remove chemicals from the work area. A workspace does not need to be perfectly airtight, but containment is most effective when a workspace is as close to airtight as can practically be achieved. If a workspace is contained, clearly mark the area externally, and take appropriate steps to restrict entry into the workspace to personnel wearing proper PPE.

  • Ventilation Design: Ventilation used with workspace containment removes chemicals from the isolated area via negative pressure. Having a negative pressure in a contained work zone will draw in air from small cracks and gaps around the workspace boundary and exhaust the work zone air. Active ventilation is achieved by using one or more fans to draw air to or from the workspace and create a negative pressure inside the workspace. Give careful consideration to the location of the exhaust. Ideally, exhaust is released to an unoccupied space where it is not likely to be drawn through an air intake. This will help protect occupants and workers in adjacent areas from potential chemical exposure.

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