Wallpaper strippers can be used at home as well as in commercial environments, for example by painters and decorators. They are a fast and effective way to remove decorative wall coverings including woodchip, vinyl and wallpaper. Most strippers come with a water tank and are powered by steam, which softens and removes wall coverings, although some industrial strippers use propane as fuel.
Injured by a wallpaper stripper?
Wallpaper strippers are fairly easy to operate, provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and have been trained how to use them safely. However, accidents can occur; these are some of the most common types of injuries sustained whilst operating a wallpaper stripper:
- Scalds and burns
- Grazes or cuts – usually sustained whilst using the stripping knife
- Electrocution from faulty equipment
If you follow all the safety instructions then most accidents can be avoided.
Safe operation of a wallpaper stripper
When working with a wallpaper stripper, or any type of specialist equipment, you should always receive training and be shown how to operate the equipment safely. As well as this and reading the manufacturer’s instructions, the following rules will help you to stay safe when using a wallpaper stripper:
- Always fill the tank to the level shown; never overfill
- Ensure the cable can stretch comfortably to the area where you are working
- Ensure the wallpaper stripper is safe to use and has been well maintained – check for faulty wiring, loose cables etc.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times
- You should always start at the top of the wall – hold the plate against the wallpaper to loosen it before scraping it off with the stripping knife
- Steam can damage the plaster, so don’t hold the stripper in one place for too long
- Always work from top to bottom
- Vinyl wallpaper and woodchip can be harder to remove, so you may need to soak the wall with hot water. Apply using a decorator’s sponge and leave to soak for 10 minutes before attempting removal with the stripping knife
By following these safety rules, you can reduce your chances of being involved in an accident at work while operating a wallpaper stripper. If you are in any doubt about the safety of equipment, or are unsure how to use it properly, you should raise this with your manager before using the machine.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you are injured at work whilst operating a wallpaper stripper, claiming for compensation could be easier than you might think. You’ll need to prove somebody else’s negligence was directly responsible for your accident, so call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 for advice and assistance with your claim.
Date Published: March 3, 2014
Author: David Brown