Working cleanly with epoxy is a good practice for your health and safety. In addition to gloves, and sleeves, there are two common—yet essential—items you can use to help contain epoxy and work more cleanly.
Always place a roll of paper towels within reach before mixing a batch of epoxy. We recommend using paper towels to clean spills and wipe up excess epoxy. To remove contamination from bonding surfaces, we recommend plain white (non-printed) paper towels as the ink may be a contaminant that can affect bonding.
It is also good practice to use plastic sheeting (4 or 6 mil) to protect floors and work surfaces from epoxy spills and mask off areas of your project you want to protect.
Epoxy won’t bond to plastic sheeting and will peel off when cured. Use small pieces of plastic under clamps to avoid inadvertent bonding. Clear plastic packaging tape also works well to protect clamps, tools and other surfaces where you don’t want the epoxy to stick.
Beyond Working Cleanly
In the course of a building or repair project, you may run a greater risk of harm falling from a ladder or misusing power tools. It’s self-defeating to worry a great deal about epoxies if you are careless about using your table saw.
Use common sense. The more informed you are about the products and tools you use, the better off you’ll be. Master basic health and safety principles and take responsibility for seeing them through. Your shop or business will be a safe place and you’ll be able to continue working with WEST SYSTEM epoxy products for a long time. When it comes to setting the rules and work practices of your shop, your health and safety are in your own hands.
All WEST SYSTEM technical manuals include basic safety information. All of our product labels provide appropriate hazard warnings. If you need more specific information, request MSDS through your distributor or West System Inc.
Epoxyworks Magazine offers some excellent tips for preventing epoxy from sticking to your work surfaces, or the parts of your project where you don’t want epoxy to stick.