13. Health and Safety
It is essential to read the MSDS (material safety and data sheets) for all GRP products before you begin work. You are responsible for your safety, the safety of your employees and the safety or your work colleagues.
The data sheets for Matrix GRP products can be found on our help and technical page. If you use these materials carefully and in accordance with the instructions you will not be at risk.
Here are some additional notes which might be useful
Note that these do not in any way replace the formal MSDS.
- Resin and Topcoat give off styrene - a gas which is harmful in high concentrations and in contained spaces. Curing resins give off considerably more styrene than un-catalysed resins.
- Hyper-sensitivity to styrene causes severe shortage of breath and disorientation but is rare.
- Seek medical help if necessary.
- The level of styrene created by manufacturing a thin laminate on an open roof is low and is unlikely to be problematic.
- Do not use GRP materials in confined spaces without suitable breathing apparatus.
- Remember styrene is heavier than air and clears easily from a roof but not from a cellar or pit. Extraction fans should be rated as explosion proof.
- The odour of styrene will disappear as the laminate cures – usually within 48hrs
- Resins and topcoats are flammable. Do not smoke near open cans. Do not allow naked flames on the roof. Do not try to accelerate cure with a flame gun.
- Resins and topcoats cause dermatitis so use gloves and wear eye protection – splashes in the eyes are painful and can cause damage.
- Acetone is extremely flammable. Keep all sources of ignition away from acetone. Buy a steel acetone container from your distributor to use on the job. Keep it sealed to minimise evaporation.
- Acetone also causes dermatitis so do not use it as a hand cleaner. Buy a proper resin hand cleaner.
- Catalyst can be very dangerous and needs to be handled with extreme care. Read the data sheet in our safety section for full information. Keep catalyst off skin, and above all do not let catalyst come into contact with eyes. Wash off splashes immediately with water and wear safety glasses when decanting or dispensing.
- Catalyst spills should be recovered using sand or vermiculate but not paper towel or rag.
- Take two bottles of sterile eyewash on the job – one for the roof and one for the mixing area on the ground (or as a spare).
- For transport regulations see our technical library page.