Donate to Hurricane Recovery

Dipping and Coating

Dipping and Coating

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is meant by 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

What is a dip tank?

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

What is pickling?

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. 

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?

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.

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

The A-Z topics pages on flammable liquids, hazard communication, personal protective equipment and respiratory protection can provide additional resource information and the Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). 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 consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.




Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for dipping and coating operations in North Carolina:

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

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 or by calling 919-707-7876.