Health & Safety

Full Technical and Health & Safety Data is available for all our products. It is important that all current data is read before the specifying and use of paints and coatings. If you require Technical Data Sheets or Material Safety Data Sheets for any of our products, please view the PRODUCT/CATALOGUE  pages of our site where you will also find links to individual Data Sheets which are available for download, along with Coverage Rates for each product.

Legislation, along with environmental and ecological considerations, is constantly changing to make paints safer for the user and the environment. Whilst many of our products can be made or are offered in a water-based, virtually VOC free material, of necessity there will be for the foreseeable future, specialist coatings containing VOC solvents and in certain cases harmful and hazardous materials.

Prospective purchasers and users of any of our products, particularly those products classed as for "Professional Use", should satisfy themselves that they have the necessary levels of expertise for all product application and understanding of relevant Health & Safety issues surrounding the use of any of these products. Before using any product, please read the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheet and carry out a full risk assessment for the intended use and method of application.

If you or your colleagues are responsible for premises that contain flammable materials or surfaces subject to control by either a Fire Officer or Local Authority Building Control, such as hotels, nursing homes, nurseries, schools etc., then you must take the necessary steps to achieve the standard of flame retardency levels to satisfy current compliance requirements. 

Your Health and Safety responsibilities do not end once you have finished with a hazardous product or substance. LEGALLY you are also responsible for the correct disposal or recovery of any hazardous substance.

There are additional requirements for the disposal or treatment of waste and containers used for materials with "hazardous characteristics". These are termed "special wastes" and include solvent-based paint. We will gladly provide a Technical Data Sheet that will identify if the waste is a "special waste".

We recommend that you confirm with the HSE for current data and that you request up-to-date information from any other suppliers that you may be using.

Visit the website of the Health and Safety Executive:

The Code of Practice for the Control of Lead at Works Regulations should be consulted for advice on protective clothing and personal hygiene precautions. Lead Regulations apply. Please call us if you require further information.

When surfaces are to be prepared for painting, account must be taken of the age of the property and the possibility that lead pigmented paint may be present. There is a possibility that ingestion or inhalation of scrapings or dust arising from the preparation work could cause adverse health effects. Alternatives to lead based paints are available directly from us.

As a rule, you should assume that this will be the case if the age of the property is pre 1960. Where possible with surfaces of this type, wet flatting or chemical stripping methods should be used to avoid the creation of dust. If dry flatting cannot be avoided and effective local exhaust ventilation is not available, it is recommended that a dust respirator is worn that is approved for use with lead dusts and its type selected on the basis of the occupational hygiene (COSHH) assessment, taking into account the occupational hygiene exposure standard for lead in air. Furthermore, steps should be taken to ensure containment of the dust created and that all practicable measures are taken to clean up thoroughly all deposits in and around the affected area. Extra precautions will need to be taken when burning off old lead based paints as fumes containing lead will be produced. It is recommended that a respirator, approved for use with particulate fumes of lead is selected on the basis of the occupational hygiene (COSHH) assessment.

Care should be exercised to exclude members of the household, visitors and particularly children from affected areas during the actual work and subsequent clean up operation. All scrapings, dust, etc should be disposed of by the professional decorating contractor as Hazardous Waste, with the relevant documentation under the Hazardous Waste Regulations, The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations, The Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations and the Waste Management Licensing Regulations.

Information contained in our Health & Safety Data Sheets is provided in accordance with the requirements of the CHIP Regulations (now the CLP Regulation). The CHIP Regulations were revoked from 1 June 2015 and no longer have legal effect. Chemical suppliers should comply with the CLP Regulation. The product should not be used for purposes other than those specified without first referring to our Technical Department and obtaining written handling instructions. As the specific conditions of use of the product are outside our control, the user is fully responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the relevant legislation are complied with. The information contained in the Safety Data Sheet is based on present knowledge and current national legislation. This provides guidance on health, safety and environmental aspects of the product and should not be construed as any guarantee of technical performance or suitability for any particular application.

Traditional paints with white lead pigment or high solvent content are restricted by environmental legislation. Their use is permitted, under licence, to retain authentic finishes for Grade I and II* listed buildings and scheduled monuments. Technical Paint Services no longer produce any white lead based paints. Please see our specially formulated lead-free alternatives.

Lead paint is harmful to human health by ingestion. The greatest hazard to human health and to the environment is from paint which is in poor condition, from its removal and its disposal. A full and thorough risk assessment must always precede the decision to strip lead paint. Methods that create dry dust and lead fumes must be avoided.

Substrates with layers of paint applied up to the mid-20th century are likely to contain lead. Professionals should refer to Lead at Work Regulations 1998 SI 543, The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 SI 3140, and The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 SI 2676.

Detailed guidance on the removal of lead paint is provided by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and The British Coatings Federation (BCF).

A Code of Practice governs the sale of non-compliant paint to customers for use on historic buildings or vintage vehicles. The supplier requires the customer to complete a declaration of intent and proof of historic building status. 

The information contained in any Safety Data Sheet does not constitute the user’s own assessment of workplace risks as required by other health and safety legislation. The provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations apply to the use of lead based products at work.

There are essentially two types of asbestos surfaces that are painted on a common basis, these being asbestos cement (AC) sheets and asbestos insulating board (AIB).

Asbestos cement is found in varying forms in buildings - mainly as wall partitions, ceilings, plain and corrugated roofing sheets, tiles, gutters and downpipes.

Asbestos cement should be dry before painting. It is highly absorbent, often highly alkaline and may contain a relatively high concentration of salts.

"Oil" paints must not be used on new exterior asbestos cement surfaces. Blistering and peeling can be caused by moisture entering from the back of the structure. This may, for example, occur when gutters or downpipes are not internally painted and the continued flow of rainwater results in and maintains damp conditions within the asbestos cement.

Gutters, windowsills and fascia boards should therefore be painted on both sides to prevent moisture penetration. Bituminous solution should be used on the inside of gutters.

For external asbestos cement surfaces, WBP1030 Primer, then E27 Acrylic System are preferred due to their high alkali resistance.

Fungus tends to grow easily on unpainted asbestos cement because it is alkaline and porous - a perfect breeding ground for spores. Therefore it is highly recommended that you waterproof unpainted surfaces with the E27 Range.

New asbestos cement surface
Ensure surfaces are clean and dust free.

Previously lime washed or distempered surface
Remove all traces to bare surface.

Previously oiled, alkyd, PVA or acrylic painted surface
If the existing paint is in poor condition: remove it by scraping or burning, then wash the surface with a concentrated detergent solution, rinse and allow to dry.

If the existing paint is in good condition: wash with soap and water, concentrated detergent or solvent to remove dirt, grease, wax polish or other contaminants.

Glossy surfaces need to be abraded to form a key for subsequent coats
Rinse clean and allow to dry.

Previously painted or unpainted and covered with fungus:
Remove the visible fungi and dirt with a suitable asbestos cleaner. Sterilize surface by applying a 10% bleach solution or fungicidal wash. Leave to dry overnight. Brush down with a stiff bristle brush. For product recommendations, advice or enquiries please contact us on 01202 295570.

What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous material that can be woven into an incombustible cloth. Building materials containing asbestos were widely used until the 1980s. Since 1976 British manufacturers have put labels on products that contain asbestos.

Is it dangerous?
If asbestos is found in the home it may only pose a problem if it is in poor condition, i.e. friable or flaking, or if it is damaged or disturbed.

How do I seal indoor asbestos?
Indoors, asbestos cement should be sealed by painting it with WBP1030 Primer and then covered with normal undercoat and gloss paint. The surfaces should not be sanded before painting.

Who should remove asbestos?
If asbestos is found in the home it may only pose a problem if it is in poor condition, i.e. friable or flaking, in which case only a licensed contractor should remove the material. Builders and plumbers carrying out household alterations should not remove asbestos unless they are licensed to do so. Also, do not attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board yourself, as these materials can only be removed by a licensed contractor. Asbestos will pose a risk to health if it is drilled, sawn or sanded. The general rule for items containing asbestos is: if it is undamaged, leave it alone.

Further information about asbestos in domestic premises can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive.

What precautions should I take?
Try to avoid undertaking any work involving asbestos materials. However, if it is really necessary, take the following precautions:

Members of the public should seek advice from companies specialising in the handling of asbestos (contact your local Environmental Health Officer for guidance on suitable firms).

  • Professional painters and builders should refer to appropriate legislation and HSE publications on asbestos.
  • Keep asbestos materials wet or well damped to reduce dust.
  • Keep other people away from the area of work.
  • Wear protective clothing, e.g. overalls with a hood (preferably disposable) and a disposable dust mask (CE marked to EN 149 with FFP2 particulate filters). Wear boots without laces (laced boots are difficult to decontaminate). Disposable clothing must be double bagged, sealed and labelled Asbestos Waste. Any clothing must be washed immediately, but separately from other household items.
  • Work outside if possible.
  • Do not drill, cut or disturb asbestos unless absolutely necessary. Do not scrape or sand asbestos surfaces before painting.
  • Use hand tools, not power tools.
  • Use only a special industrial vacuum cleaner that conforms to BS EN 60335 (Class H).
  • How do I dispose of asbestos?
  • Asbestos waste must not be placed in the dustbin as refuse vehicles often grind collected waste and fibres could be released into the air. Household asbestos should be taken to your Local Authority Recycling Centre. It is advisable to contact them first to ensure their facilities are not full. All waste must be double-bagged, sealed and labelled as Asbestos Waste. Large items may need to be damped and wrapped in 500-gauge polythene sheeting, sealed with heavy-duty sticky tape and labelled.
  • What responsibilities might an owner, manager or occupier of commercial premises have?
  • The Control of Asbestos at Work 2002 Regulations of October 2002 introduced the new duty to manage asbestos risk in non-domestic premises. The duty to manage asbestos came into force on 21 May 2004. Also see updated Regulations of 2012.

If you own, occupy, manage or have responsibilities for premises which may contain asbestos, you will either have:

  • a legal duty to manage the risk from this material; or
  • a duty to co-operate with whoever manages that risk.

COSHH: A guide to the Regulations.
This text does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended to help readers understand the general issues of COSHH within a decorating context.

What is COSHH?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) (amended) requires every business to protect its workers, customers and the general public from the harmful effects of hazardous substances.

COSHH is a useful tool of good management which sets eight basic measures that employers, and sometimes employees, must take. These are set out in a leaflet available from the HSE in a simple step-by-step approach to help you assess risks, implement any measures needed to control exposure and establish good working practices.

If you as an employer fail to adequately control hazardous substances, your employees or others may become ill. Effects from hazardous substances range from mild eye irritation to chronic lung disease or, on occasions, death. This may:

  • result in lost productivity to your business;
  • leave you liable to enforcement action, including prosecution under the COSHH Regulations;
  • result in civil claims from your employees.

There can be positive benefits to your business from carefully following through the requirements of COSHH:

  • improved productivity as a result of using more effective controls (e.g. less use of raw material);
  • improved employee morale;
  • better employee understanding and compliance with health and safety requirements.

Hazardous substances
Hazardous substances include:

  • substances used directly in work activities (e.g. adhesives, paints, cleaning agents);
  • substances generated during work activities (e.g. fumes from soldering and welding);
  • naturally occurring substances (e.g. grain dust);
  • biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms.

Where are hazardous substances found?
In nearly all work environments, for example:

  • factories;
  • shops;
  • mines;
  • farms;
  • laboratories;
  • offices.

Effects of hazardous substances
Examples of the effects of hazardous substances include:

  • skin irritation or dermatitis as a result of skin contact;
  • asthma as a result of developing allergy to substances used at work;
  • losing consciousness as a result of being overcome by toxic fumes;
  • cancer, which may appear long after the exposure to the chemical that caused it;
  • infection from bacteria and other micro-organisms (biological agents).

COSHH assists employers who wish to follow good management by setting out eight basic measures that should be taken to assess and control exposure.

1 Assessing the risks
Assess the risks to health from hazardous substances used in or created by your workplace activities. 

2 Deciding on what precautions are needed
You must not carry out work which could expose your employees to hazardous substances without first considering the risks and the necessary precautions, and what else you need to do to comply with COSHH. 

3 Preventing or controlling exposure
You must prevent your employees being exposed to hazardous substances. Where preventing exposure is not reasonably practicable, you must adequately control it. The advice provided by the HSE will help you to make the right assessments and to put the appropriate controls in place.

4 Ensuring control measures are used and maintained
Key to COSHH is ensuring control measures are used and properly maintained and that safety procedures are adhered to.

5 Monitoring the exposure
Monitor the exposure of employees to hazardous substances, as and when necessary. 

6 Carry out appropriate health surveillance
Carry out appropriate health surveillance where your assessment has shown this is necessary or where COSHH has set specific requirements. 

7 Prepare contingencies to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
You must prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving hazardous substances, where necessary.

8 Training and supervision of employees
You should provide your employees with suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training. 

Your health and safety responsibilities do not end once you have finished with a hazardous product or substance. LEGALLY you are also responsible for the correct disposal or recovery of the hazardous substance.

There are additional requirements for the disposal or treatment of waste and containers used for materials with "hazardous characteristics". These are termed "special wastes" and include solvent-based paint. We will gladly supply a Technical Data Sheet that will identify if the waste is a "special waste".

Our notes on COSHH are correct at the time of writing and are intended as a guide. Technical Paint Services will supply Technical Data Sheets for individual products. We recommend that you confirm with the HSE for current data and also request up-to-date information from any alternative suppliers.

We recommend visiting the website of the Health and Safety Executive at

Please note:
This information is provided as a guide only. Please ensure you have satisfied yourself that your COSHH Assessment is in accordance with the Regulations and Approved Code of Practice.

Technical Paint Services does not accept any responsibility for your COSHH Assessment.