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PPE Requirements for Plating / Anodizing Shops


Q. I am writing a Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy for operations in our Plating / Anodizing Shop. I would like to base this policy on Industry Standards and/or goverment regulations but I'm having difficulty finding this type of documentation. I realize PPE recommendations are in MSDSs and that Plating Shop safety videos exist.

1. Have any Industry organizations published documents that detail PPE recommendations for Plating/Anodizing Shops?

2. Are there any OSHA regulations that govern PPE requirements for Plating / Anodizing Shops?

Jim K. Hovelsrud
anodizing Shop - Indianapolis, IN, USA


A. Start with the OSHA reg which you will find at 29CFR1910.1200 in the Federal Register.

Also contact your State OSHA (or department of health; whatever it is called in your state) and get a copy of their regs (which may be a duplicate of the fed regs, or they may have added some things). Make sure you have and follow MSDS.

Most state depts of employee safety/ health will do a "courtesy" inspection of your facility for you. The usual arrangement is that they will not cite you for any violations which they find, but you will be expected to correct violations if they find any. You should do this. Sooner or later they're going to show up for a real inspection anyway, and they'll fine you if they find violations then.

jeffrey holmes Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
- Spartanburg, South Carolina


A. Although you certainly have to comply with OSHA regulations, I think you will find that they don't really answer your question. So go ahead and get and watch that safety video because there are common practices in plating/anodizing shops and you want to do at least what's "standard".

Most shops rightfully have different PPE instructions depending on the specific thing you are doing and the chemicals you are dealing with. Someone who's just "walking through" the shop might have nothing but safety glasses and full foot covering. An operator processing parts might have boots, protective glovesamazoninfo, and gogglesamazoninfo all of the time and additionally wear an apronamazoninfo, full face shieldamazoninfo, and respirator when making additions to a tank, for example. But it also can depend on the chemicals: some shops believe respirators are required for everyone if the shop does cadmium plating. Some shops believe aprons and face shields are required to process parts in a black oxide line, and so on. A few years ago hard hats were de rigeur; today I rarely see them unless there actually is an overhead hazard.

The trickiest question is usually goggles vs. safety glasses. Safety glasses are not meant to protect against splashes and are therefore sort of inappropriate for a chemical operator; on the other hand, many operators swear that no matter what anyone says, even the best ventilated goggles are dangerous because of fogging (and they may be right in the most humid shops and wrong in other shops). In summary, comply with the law, try to follow the same standards others do, but the decisions probably won't be as easy and cookbook style as we wish they were.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 14, 2012

Q. What is side effect on human body for direct work in hot blackodising plant?

bhushan patil
- pune, India

April 14, 2012

A. Hi, Bhushan.

Personally I think the danger of an eruption of these very hot caustic tanks is the principal imminent danger, and that full PPE gear including apron and face shield are therefore advisable.

It is fairly impossible to judge what your chronic exposure conditions are without seeing them, but back injuries from heavy lifting are the principal injury to most employees including workers in metal finishing plants. If the air is not cool enough and clean enough, it is obviously difficult to remain healthy and refreshed.


pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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