Answers to Common Spray Foam Health & Safety Questions

spray-foam-safetyAs with any other type of industrial or construction-related material, spray foam involves certain issues that must be considered regarding health and safety measures, particularly for those professionals who are involved in the application of these materials.

Obviously, spray foam insulation and roofing firms—like everyone else in the spray foam industry—want to protect the safety and well-being of these application crews. Maintaining a healthy and safe working environment is a high priority for any type of business. A big part of achieving that goal is ensuring that everyone involved in spray foam projects is properly educated and informed about important concerns, and critical safety measures they must take in order to establish a safe working environment.

To help educate industry professionals, a group of leading organizations teamed up to produce a valuable resource that shares critical information on these topics. Entitled, “Guidelines for Exterior High-Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Applications Health and Safety Q&A,” this tip sheet is available on the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance website.

Produced via a joint effort of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the guide addresses many of the most common questions industry professionals may have related to spray foam health and safety. The material specifically focuses on issues relating to exterior spray foam applications, such as those performed on the outside of a building. This could encompass things like roofing, exterior walls, exterior duct work and tank insulation.

The document begins with an overview of the chemicals contained in spray polyurethane foam and the potential health concerns linked to those materials. This is educational reading that would be relevant for anyone in the industry.

The guide includes a detailed, in-depth section covering personal protective equipment required for those performing jobs involving spray foam. This would include respiratory protection and eye protection. In addition, there are several items such as coveralls and disposable boot covers that can help protect workers from direct skin contact with application chemicals.

In addition, the guide provides vital information on first aid safety measures that should be taken immediately in the case of accidental exposure to SPF materials. There is also a useful review of standard industry work practices that crews should follow. Readers will also learn tips for avoiding accidental spills, and addressing spills properly should they occur. Guidelines for the proper disposal of empty drums are also included.

As the publication notes, certain materials also require additional precautions, and work crews should also consult detailed information and guidelines provided by specific manufacturers of the materials they will be using. It is also suggested that managers consult resources from other applicable agencies such as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for information regarding other potential workplace hazards—such as falls—and the steps employers must take to ensure they are operating according to those requirements.

Spray foam companies must also ensure that their employees have all of the critical supplies necessary to protect them from any job-related hazards. This would include a variety of personal protective equipment, along with other types of safety equipment, such as that designed to help prevent falls.

Making it a point to confirm that all job sites are fully stocked with every type of safety equipment the crews may need is a top priority for every business, and an investment that will pay off in a major way by avoiding accidents and injuries.

We are eager to do our part to help promote the highest level of safety among all spray foam businesses. Contractors can find spray foam equipment and everything else they need to maintain a safe worksite at Intech Equipment & Supply.