Dipping and Coating

Dipping and coating involves the use of a liquid, other than water, or it’s vapor to accomplish any of the following operations:

  • Clean an object

  • Coat an object

  • Alter the surface of an object

  • Change the character of an object

A dip tank is a container holding a liquid other than water and is used for dipping or coating.

As used in this context, pickling is a type of dipping and coating operation which refers to the treatment of a metal surface with strong acids ("pickle liquor") to remove impurities, such as stains, rust or scaling. 

Dipping and Coating

Tab/Accordion Items

What are the hazards associated with dipping and coating?

Depending upon the liquids involved in the process, employees may be exposed to physical hazards (e.g., flammable or combustible liquids and vapors) and/or health hazards (e.g., corrosive, toxic) due to inhalation of vapors from or skin contact with chemicals used.

What can I do to protect myself?

Be sure that ventilation is properly functioning before performing any dipping or coating operations. Keep dipping and coating tanks covered when not in use and when parts are immersed in the liquid, unless it is infeasible to cover the tank during operations.

Wear appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment such as chemically resistant gloves, chemically resistant aprons or coats, and eye and face protection. Whenever ventilation is not sufficient to maintain airborne concentrations of vapors and mists below permissible exposure limits, appropriate respiratory protection must be provided by your employer.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

Example safety and health programs for hazard communication, personal protective equipment hazard assessments and respiratory protection can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace. Employers are required to perform a workplace hazard analysis to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards.

Training and Outreach Services

Presentations on hazard communication, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection can be downloaded and modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z topics pages on flammable liquids, hazard communication, personal protective equipment and respiratory protection can provide additional resource information. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.


Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to dipping and coating in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

  • Compliance Directive: CPL 02-00-158 establishes the enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, to ensure uniform enforcement.

  • Compliance Directive: CPL 02-01-050 establishes the enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the requirements for personal protective equipment in general industry and to ensure uniform enforcement of the PPE standards.

  • Compliance Directive: CPL 02-02-079 establishes the enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the hazard communication standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, to ensure uniform enforcement of its requirements.

  • Operational Procedure Notice: OPN 143, Suitable Facilities for Drenching or Flushing the Eyes or Body, establishes how employers ensure adequate facilities are available for employees to flush their eyes or body in the event of a splash or spatter of corrosive, strongly irritating or extremely toxic chemicals.

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.