Read and comply with all instructions and
precautions on the label.
Always follow safety precautions when working
with solvents. Never use solvents in an unventilated
space under any circumstances. Special clothing
requirements also must be observed when using some
Always follow safety precautions!
Carelessness on anyones part could cause a mishap,
resulting in injuries or even deaths. By observing safety
precautions, you will reduce mishaps and save lives.
When you think of ventilation, you usually think of
air conditioning and cooling. However, when working
with solvents, the term ventilation means providing
fresh air and exhaust to the area in which you are
working. Make sure the work area is properly
ventilated. That includes topside areas of a ship because
some topside areas are enclosed on three sides and will
not allow proper ventilation.
When applying flammable coatings or using
solvents, you must provide adequate ventilation, which
will help prevent accidental ignition. You may have to
use extra fans or local exhaust to ventilate a space,
especially in spaces where pockets can develop. A
pocket is the buildup of vapors and poisonous air in an
area, causing an explosion. Always follow safety
precautions and make sure spaces are ventilated
properly when solvents are used! When in doubt,
contact your supervisor for additional guidance.
Preventing Excess Vapors
Any type of solvent will give off some type of vapor.
These vapors may be toxic or flammable. Always use
proper ventilation to prevent a buildup of vapors. As you
have learned, some vapors can linger in pockets of
spaces; therefore, make sure the complete work area is
fully ventilated. Before starting a job, ask a gas free
engineer to examine the area for toxic gases and ask for
the proper ventilation plan for the space. Be sure to have
the space checked frequently for excessive vapors. If
vapors are found to be excessive, stop all work
immediately and have all personnel clear the area until it
is safe to return.
When working with solvents, you always face the
risk of their contacting your skin through splatters or
spills. Some caustic solvents will actually eat the skin
off your body. Make sure that you have all the protective
clothing needed for the job.
When working with solvents, you must wear
adequate protective clothing and gloves to prevent skin
contact with the solvents and cleaning materials. Do not
wear jewelry or clothing with cuffs, loose pockets, rips,
or loose ties. Observe the following safety precautions
when working with solvents:
Wear chemical splash goggles at all times.
Wear acid-resistant aprons, face shield with
goggles, gloves, and boots when handling acid or
Wear nonskid rubber-soled shoes when working
in enclosed spaces or when flammable vapors
may be present (spark prevention).
Never work in an enclosed space without using
the buddy system.
Respiratory protection, with either an organic
vapor cartridge or supplied air, should be worn
when dispensing, handling, or cleaning using
Using solvents for cleaning saves time; but, make
sure you read all the labels before using the solvent.
Many solvents are corrosive and can irritate or cause
serious injuries to your eyes, skin, and lungs. Always
check the caution labels before using any solvents!
Fire-Fighting Equipment Required While
Nothing ruins a COs day faster than receiving word
that the ship is burning. A fire can cause injury and loss
of life and take a ship off the line for a long time. When
working with solvents, you have no room for error. If
youre on a work detail that requires the use of solvents