Worker Protection In Bedliner Applications

Truck bed lining products have protected vehicles from wear and tear over many years through the application of polyurethane, polyurea or polyurea hybrid systems. Though the spray application of these products protects the truck bed, the actual spraying of the truck bed liner requires specific handling and care. Whether it is polyurethane or polyurea, virtually all these products use MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), a material that belongs to the class of chemicals known as diisocyanates.

01 Carefully read and follow all safety precautions listed on the product label and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS will describe proper first aid procedures in case of accidental exposure. You should have a current MSDS on file for all chemicals used in your facility. A copy of the MSDS should be readily available for review by all employees.

02 Supplied-air respirators can protect employees from exposure to MDI during spray application and may in fact be necessary to meet governmental workplace requirements. Fit tests may be required. A fit test demonstrates that the face piece forms an effective seal with the wearer’s face.

03 To prevent contact of the product with your skin or eyes, you should wear gloves, eye protection, and other protective clothing when appropriate or required. Eye wash stations should be provided.

04 Appropriate ventilation can help minimize risks. Use of ventilated enclosures helps contain and exhaust spray mists and vapors developing during spraying. Exhaust filters and stacks help minimize exposure to people outside the building. Ventilated enclosures, when properly maintained and operated at the appropriate air flow rates, help to control airborne diisocyanate concentrations inside the enclosure and help prevent the escape of vapors and mists into the surrounding work area.

05 Setting up a spill clean-up plan will help you quickly clean up the product if a spill or leak occurs. Protecting people first, then minimizing environmental releases and protecting property and product, will help prevent people from being exposed to potentially harmful levels of MDI.

06 Keep in mind that inhaling smoke or vapors from welding, torch-cutting or any other hot process that blisters, chars or burns the bed lining, whether freshly applied or fully cured, may be dangerous to your health.

07 Remember that resealing the diisocyanate container when it has become contaminated with moisture could cause the container to swell and potentially rupture with explosive force.

08 Periodic medical monitoring of workers, including pulmonary function testing, will help determine medical fitness to continue working with MDI.

09 Be aware that there may be other federal, state/provincial and local regulations that apply to the operations at your worksite beyond those mentioned in this document. Please insure that you contact your local regulatory bodies to determine if your operation meets federal, state/provincial and local regulations.

This article is not intended to provide specific legal or technical advice, and is made without warranty, expressed or implied as to merchant-ability, fitness for particular purpose, or any other matter. Persons applying polyurethane/polyurea coatings and foam should consult with their own technical and legal advisors and other appropriate sources of safety and handling information, including information from product suppliers, product labels, technical bulletins, MSDSs, and other literature.