There are lots of health and safety hazards in any business, such as heavy
lifting, open electrical connections, poor ventilation, tripping hazards and
risk of a person getting caught in some machinery. The screen printing
industry has special conditions.
First, spray adhesives are the worst. Get rid of them.
Second, you want sufficient draft in a conveyor dryer and tubing to remove the lint
from the shop. There should never be lint sitting on surfaces. Doors
on a conveyor help, but the dryer still needs sufficient convection
to draw off the lint which is very light. If people working in the shop
get headaches, that is lint in their sinuses causing irritation and swelling
that creates the headache. Some dyes used in garments have an odor when
cured. The convection and doors will help to minimize that annoyance.
People are all different heights, but platens are all the same height. When
reaching across the screen to start a print stroke, the angle between the arm
and body should not exceed 45 degrees. If it does, too much pressure
is being placed on joints like wrists and elbows. Prolonged exposure
will result in carpel tunnel syndrome. The solution for short people
is to build a podium for them to stand on so the platen is at waist height
or slightly below.
Printing involves being in one place a lot of hours in one place. Save your legs
with fatigue mats, or just simply crush cartons that you stand on.
Good lighting right over the platen where you print and register screen will be easier on
your eyes, and speed up your work. So a florescent light dropped down
from the ceiling is a simple solution.
There should be no odor to any product you handle.
Manual presses commonly use springs under tension to assist in raising and lowering
screens. If the springs have been heat tempered to increase the spring
rate, they must be covered. Ask the manufacturer and others in the industry. Some
companies have produced thousands of presses where the spring will fracture
without any notice, and bits of steel will fly through the air. If you
are in the line of fire, you could lose your eye or life.
Flash dryers should have the base under the platen rather than spider legs which are a tripping
hazard. They also should be on casters so they will roll rather than
tip over when bumped. The base should be substantially heavier than the
top also to prevent tipping over when the face of the heater is 600 degrees.
For more information about health and safety in a screen printing shop, read:
“Health & Safety”
And, see the video:
“Screen Printing Health & Safety”