In the garage

This information is for mechanics, welders and vehicle painters. It gives information on things in the workplace that could damage the lungs and advice on how to protect them.

What are the hazards?

These are some of the hazards you may come into contact with at work.

  • Isocyanates

    Found in products including paints, coatings, foams, glues and flooring. Paint spraying, e.g. when painting a car, releases high levels of them into the air.

  • Dusts

    From sanding and grinding.

  • Welding fumes

    A mixture of gases, including nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), shielding gas (e.g. argon, helium), ozone (O3), and very fine particles which can harm your lungs if breathed in.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung conditions like COPD and lung cancer

If you smoke, you will be at a much higher risk of developing a lung condition.


How can your health be affected?

How to protect yourself

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure the work environment is appropriately ventilated and that you are provided with protective clothing and appropriate safety advice.

Here are four easy things you can do to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect your lung health at work.

  • Assess Risk

    Do risk assessments to make sure you are doing jobs safely and efficiently.

  • Paint spraying

    When paint spraying:

    • Always spray inside a protective booth
    • Be aware that spraying creates an invisible mist and that booths need time to clear
    • Do not lift your mask straight after spraying
    • Use air-fed breathing apparatus
    • Maintain the breathing apparatus and booth regularly
    • Avoid skin contact
    • Take care when cleaning and preparing areas for paint
  • Using a grinding wheel

    When using a grinding wheel wear respiratory protective equipment (RPE) when maintaining, cleaning and emptying the vacuum cleaner.

  • Health check-ups

    Get your health regularly checked – either through a health scheme at your workplace, or by regularly seeing a healthcare professional.

More information