Protecting Yourself While Painting

Introduction

Using incorrect safety procedures and having a poor safety attitude can make painting a hazardous trade. Painters must climb ladders, rig tall structures, and work on platforms and other scaffolding. They use high-pressure cleaning and painting equipment as well as high-speed power tools. They are often required to work around high voltages and in confined spaces. Painters use a wide variety of materials that can have negative health effects. These materials include paints, solvents, blast materials and residues, chemical strippers, cleaning agents, and etching agents.

The focus of this module is on safety issues and practices specific to the painting trade. This module supplements some of the general safety information studied earlier in Basic Safety and it introduces new safety topics of importance to painters.

Trade Terms

Containment: A term representing the various methods of sealing a work area to prevent the escape of dust, hazardous materials, or vapor to other areas or into the environment.

Dropcloths: Protective, reusable coverings made from cotton canvas or other absorbent material.

Masking: The protection of a surface or object by the application of paper or plastic film that is secured by masking tape or another adhesive. Also, the protection of a surface by the application of liquid masking or masking gel.

Tarps: An abbreviated term for tarpaulins (waterproof sheet material made from treated canvas or fiber-reinforced plastic. Tarps usually have rope-reinforced edges that are fitted with grommets for tie-down purposes.

Employer and Employee Safety Obligations

It is important to understand the obligations that exist for everyone’s safety. An obligation is like a promise or a contract. In exchange for the benefits of your employment, you agree to work safely. In other words, you are obligated to work safely. You are also obligated to make sure anyone you happen to supervise is working safely. Your employer is also obligated to maintain a safe workplace for all employees. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Some employers will have safety committees. If you work for such an employer, you are then obligated to that committee to help maintain a safe working environment. This means two things:

  • Follow the safety committee’s rules for proper working procedures and practices.
  • Report any unsafe equipment and conditions directly to the committee or to your supervisor.

Here is a basic rule to follow every working day: If you see something that is not safe, REPORT IT! Don’t ignore it. It won’t correct itself You have an obligation to report it.

Suppose you see a faulty electrical hookup. You know enough to stay away from it, and you do-but then you forget about it. Why should you worry? It’s not going to hurt you. Let somebody else deal with it. The next thing that happens is that your best friend accidentally grabs the live wire.

In the long run, even if you don’t think an unsafe condition affects you-it does. Don’t mess around. Report what isn’t safe. Don’t think your employer will be angry because your productivity suffers while the condition is corrected. On the contrary, your employer will be very pleased.

Your employer knows that the short time lost in making conditions safe again is nothing compared with shutting down the whole job because of a major disaster. If that happens, you are out of work anyway. So don’t ignore an unsafe condition. In fact, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require you to report hazardous conditions.

This applies to every part of the construction industry. Whether you work for a large contractor or a small subcontractor, you are obligated to report unsafe conditions. The easiest way to do this is to tell your supervisor. If that person is ignoring the unsafe condition, report it to the next highest supervisor. If it is the owner who is being unsafe, let that person know what you think. If nothing is done about it, report it to OSHA. If you are worried about your job being on the line, think about it in terms of your life being on the line.

The U.S. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. The act also created OSHA. It is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. The job of OSHA is to set occupational safety and health standards for all places of employment, to enforce these standards, and to provide research and educational programs to support safe working practices. OSHA requires each employer to provide a safe and hazard-free working environment. OSHA also requires that employees comply with OSHA rules and regulations that relate to their conduct on the job. According to OSHA standards, you are entitled to on-the-job safety training. As a new employee, you must be:

  • Shown how to do your job safely.
  • Provided with the proper personal protective equipment.
  • Warned about specific hazards in the work and in the surroundings.
  • Supervised for safety while performing the work.

OSHA was adopted in 1970 with the stated purpose “to assure as far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” The enforcement of this act of Congress is provided by the federal and state safety inspectors who have the legal authority to make employers pay fines for safety violations. The law allows states to have their own safety regulations and agencies to enforce them, but they must first be approved by the U.S. Secretary of Labor. For states that do not develop such regulations and agencies, federal OSHA standards must be obeyed.

These standards are listed in OSHA Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry (29 CFR, Part 1926), sometimes called OSHA Standards 1926 (Figure 2). Other safety standards that apply to the painting trade are published in OSHA Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (29 CFR, Parts 1900 to 1910).

Painting Safety_Picture2

The most important general requirements that OSHA makes on employers in the construction industry are:

  • The employer must perform frequent and regular job site inspections of equipment.
  • The employer must instruct all employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions and to know the regulations that pertain to the job so they may control or eliminate any hazards.
  • No one may use any tools, equipment, machines, or materials that do not comply with OSHA Standards 1926.

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Tools and Materials Tape

Tape and media dispensers are the most common and fastest way of applying paper or film masking media to a surface. They are three to five times faster than hand application. Both hand-held and bench-mounted dispensers are available. The image below shows a typical hand-held tape and media dispenser with a manual tape dispenser attached to it along with a cutoff blade. The manual tape dispenser on this model allows the painter to obtain strips of tape to hold the masking media in place before securing the untaped edges to the surface.

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Cutoff blades are available in different lengths for varying widths of masking media. The image below shows a typical bench-mounted tape and media dispenser. Both devices function to apply various widths of masking tape to one edge of the masking media at an adjustable distance from the edge of the media. In the case of the hand-held model, this can be done simultaneously with the application of media directly to the surface to be protected.

Typical Bench-Mounted Tape And Media Dispenser

The image below shows a typical hand-held molding masking tape dispenser. It may be used to apply tape to the loose edges of masking media previously applied with a hand-held or bench- mounted tape or media dispenser. It is primarily used to apply tape to the edges of moldings, floors, windows, etc. As shown in Figure 4, the rollers of some of these devices have one raised edge that presses the edge of the tape down tightly against the surface, thus eliminating the use of a putty knife or fingernail to seal the edge of the tape. In addition, tape tracking is adjustable on the rollers so that tape may be applied above or below the molding edge as shown in Figures 5 and 6.

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Typical Bench-Mounted Tape And Media Dispenser

Image below shows a special hand-held dual tape dispenser. This device simplifies securing the loose edges of masking media applied with a masking tape and media dispenser or when hanging large sheets of untaped or non-folded media. It creates a double-sided masking tape by laminating a regular masking tape, which affixes to the surface, to the edge of high-tack tape which is reversed so that the adhesive surface faces out. The masking media is then applied over and pressed into the high-tack adhesive as shown in the 2 images below.

Hand-Held Dual Tape Dispenser

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Masking Tape

Masking tape used in the painting trade generally ranges from 3/4 inch (19 mm) to 3 inches (76.2 mm) wide and is usually supplied in 60 yard (54.9 m) rolls for use in tape dispensers. It is also available with various adhesives for use in specific applications. Common types of masking tape include:

IF THE ROLL OF POLYETHYLENE CONTAINS EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF "SLIP AGENT" THE HIGH-TACK ADHESIVE TAPE MAY NOT ADHERE PROPERLY TO THE FILM Applying Masking Media To Exposed High-Tack Tape Adhesive

High-adhesion/24-hour tapes – These tapes provide instant adhesion and excellent holding power. They also provide superior paint lines but are designed to be removed within 24 hours.

Medium-adhesion 124-hour tapes – These tapes provide easy removal and dispensing characteristics. They also provide sharp paint lines with minimal paint-edge build up. They must be removed within 24 hours.

Safe-release / 7-day tapes – These tapes provide a low-tack adhesive that is ideal for delicate surfaces such as wallpaper, unpainted wallboard, and freshly cured paint. They also provide extra sharp paint lines that are useful for graphic and stripping applications. They are designed for removal within 7 days.

Medium-adhesion, sunlight-stable / 7-day tapes – These tapes are designed for indoor/ outdoor applications where the tape is exposed to sunlight. They should be removed within 7 days.

Dual-tack tape sets / 7-day medium-adhesion sunlight-stable or 24-hour high-adhesion tapes – These tape sets combine a high-tack tape and a conventional 7-day or 24-hour masking tape and are used with the dual tape dispenser discussed earlier.

Non-Reusable Masking Media

In the following paragraphs, various types of non-reusable masking media are discussed. They are generally provided in lengths that are usable in hand-held dispensers.

Masking Paper

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Figure 11 shows common paper roll widths. The rolls are generally 60 yards (54.9 m) long. They are available in a variety of grades, some formulated to be pinhole free to minimize bleed through. Others are specially made for use with latex, oil, or urethane paints.

Masking Film

Figure 12 shows common masking film roll widths. The rolls are generally 180 yards (164.6 m) long for use in hand-held dispensers. The films are thin and lightweight but are high density and non-porous to paints, stains, urethanes, and chemical strippers. They are also treated to prevent liquids from running off the surface.

Pre-Folded Masking Film

The image below shows pre-folded masking film roll widths. They are similar to the masking film discussed earlier, with the additional advantage that they can be unfolded to the various widths shown in Figure 13 once the taping edge has been secured to a surface. They are usually taped horizontally across the top of the surface and then unfolded downward. They are ideal for covering large areas and are much easier and faster to apply than large unfolded sheets of polyethylene plastic. The rolls are usually supplied in the following lengths for the indicated widths:

  • 60 yards (54.9 m) for 24-inch (610 mm), 36-inch (912 mm), and 48-inch (1.22 m) wide rolls
  • 100 feet (30.5 m) for 72-inch (1.83 m) and 99-inch (2.5 m) wide rolls

Bulk Polyethylene Sheeting (Light Duty)

This plastic sheeting is available in 1-mil to 2-mil thicknesses and in rolls, with widths, up to 30 feet (9 m) folded. This light-duty material can be used to mask large areas or as interior cover material for objects in a room. It is not recommended as a floor cover because it is slippery and does not provide stable footing. Some polyethylene may contain excessive amounts of the slip agent, which doesn’t allow masking tape to adhere to the film surface properly.

Liquid Masking Or Masking Gel

A number of brushable or sprayable liquid masking or masking gel products are available. These are primarily used on hard, non-porous surfaces such as glass or metal, or for objects that may be difficult to mask with tape because of their shape or location. Some of these products dry to a strippable rubbery film and others do not dry at all and must be wiped or washed off. The drying type may be painted over with a brush. The non-drying types are suitable only for spray painting use. Some painters find that these products are too expensive and more trouble than they are worth except for limited use of irregularly shaped objects. Liquid dishwashing soap or petroleum jelly will perform the same function for considerably less money. Image Below illustrates a dryable type liquid masking with a built-in applicator for masking glass or similar surfaces. However, a razor blade scraper used on freshly dried paint is just as effective.

Liquid Masking With Built-In Applicator

Self-Adhesive Masking Material

Several self-adhesive masking papers or film products are available in rolls of various widths These products are relatively expensive and are usually coated with a medium-tack or low- tack adhesive along one edge which causes some paint weeping at the edge. If hand-held dispensers are not available, these products can be used in situations where there are no irregular edges or over delicate surfaces such as wallpaper.

Reusable Masking/Covering Media

Drop cloths

Drop cloths are generally made from cotton canvas or other absorbent material and are available in light-duty and heavy-duty weights. A pliable plastic-coated paper is also available for use as a drop cloth. Dropcloths are supplied as large rectangular area coverings or as runner clothes for use on long walls. The advantage of drop cloths is that they absorb paint to prevent tracking and provide stable footing when used as a floor covering over plastic sheeting. The lightweight clothes can also be used as a covering over shrubbery or plants for outdoor painting or over room objects for indoor painting. Since they are porous, they allow dust, air, and water to pass through. If a dust-free, watertight covering is required, plastic sheeting or plastic-coated paper should be used. The image below is an example of a runner-type drop cloth. Interior and exterior drop cloths should not be used interchangeably nor should they be turned over and used when a wet paint is still present on one side.

Runner-Type Dropcloth

WARNING! Dropcloths, especially those not treated with a fire retardant, can be a fire hazard. Careless disposal of smoking materials can cause a fire long after painters have left for the day.

Plastic Sheeting (Heavy Duty)

An alternative to the dropcloth is heavy-duty plastic sheeting (6 mils or thicker). It is available in bulk rolls and a wide range of widths. The sheeting is relatively inexpensive and, for exterior use, the heavier grades can be reused several times. Since it is non-porous, dust, paint, water, and chemical sprays will not penetrate it. Because the material is slippery, it should be covered with a canvas dropcloth when used as a floor covering to provide stable footing and to prevent tracking of paint. It can also be used to cover large objects such as machinery and furniture that must be kept dust free.

For exteriors, the plastic sheeting may be used as masking for adjacent structures or on large areas of buildings when spray painting. It may also be used on shrubbery, foliage, or lawn areas for short periods of time (up to three hours) in the immediate work area when spray painting, or when working with a chemical cleaner that may cause damage, or when removing hazardous materials from a substrate.

Heavier grades of sheeting, when adequately reinforced, can be used for interior or exterior dust, hazardous material, or vapor containment enclosures with or without negative pressure. Negative pressure enclosures are evacuated by vacuum fans coupled with appropriate filters. This prevents dust, hazardous materials, or vapor from escaping the enclosure.

Runner-Type Dropcloth

Fine-Mesh Netting

This material is available in various sizes and is used in low-pressure water washing (without chemicals) to cover shrubbery, lawns, and foliage for an extended period. It prevents debr from covering the shrubbery, lawn, or foliage, but allows fine dust and water to drain through and air to reach the covered areas.

Spray Shields 

Spray shields are hand-held tools used to protect adjacent surfaces from overspray during spray painting, texturing, or flocking operations. They vary in size from approximately 9 inches by 24 inches to 9 inches by 48 inches, with the most popular size being the 36-inch long version. They are available with handles that vary in length from about 8 inches to 18 inches. The shield is usually made of aluminum or in some cases, plastic, both of which are available in stiff or flexible form. Some shields have a 30° angle for easier handling. Others are furnished with a paint-run guard at the handle edge to alleviate paint dripping. Some aluminum shields are available with a coating that simplifies clean up and eliminates the black marks sometimes caused by untreated aluminum. Shields are a quick and easy way of protecting as you go. However, the edges must be wiped after each use or the paint will weep under the edge. In addition, shields are usable on only flat, true surfaces. Most professional painters prefer other methods.

Spray Shields

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Masking and Covering Methods and Guidelines

Interior Masking and Covering

WARNING! Many paints applied prior to 1978 contain lead or other toxic heavy metals. In addition, some older flocked finishes, acoustic tile, duct wrapping, and plaster contain asbestos fiber. If laboratory tests or MSDSs confirm the presence of any of these, total space containment and dust or vapor collection equipment, along with approved personal protection, are required.

Before masking and covering an interior space for preparation or painting, all movable furniture, appliances, lamps, and decorations should be removed if possible. Otherwise, they should be grouped in narrow rows near the center of the space to allow access to the ceilings if the ceilings are also to be finished. If possible, small fixed lighting fixtures should be loosened and dropped down, then covered if not used for illumination. If desired and if possible, switch and receptacle plates should be removed along with door and window hardware (knobs, door bolt plates, striker plates, locks, etc.) and any other removable hardware. Exposed receptacles, switches, door hinges (if not removed), and any other hardware should be masked.

Heavy or non-removable lighting fixtures, if not used for illumination, or plumbing fixtures must be bagged or draped and taped at the ceiling or wall mounting as detailed below. Sprinkler heads should be bagged or protected as shown below. All other door trim, cabinets, floor trim, window trim, and any other surface not to be refinished should be masked by one of the methods shown below. Interior surfaces to be masked must be clean and dry; otherwise, the masking tape will not adhere to the surfaces. Finally, furniture, rugs, floors, and other objects should be covered as outlined below. If hazardous materials are present or will be present during the refinishing process, drape and seal all external vents or openings to space and employ proper dust or vapor collection methods as well as appropriate personal protection.

Paper Masking

Image below shows typical methods of applying paper masking to various surfaces using a handheld dispenser. Once the border applications are completed, drop cloths or additional paper must be applied to complete the masking of surfaces, if required.

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Film Masking

Images below show methods of applying a pre-folded film to various surfaces use in-hand-held dispensers. This masking method is the fastest and most economical.

WINDOWS

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Use dual tape dispenser on dispense pre-folded unfold masking film. Both sides and bottom of masking film dual tape seals edges window (or door).

CABINETS

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Step 1 USE DUAL TAPE ON THE INSIDE OF THE CABINET

Step 2 DISPENSE PRE-FOLDED MASKING FILM

Step 3 UNFOLD MASKING FILM

Step 4 DUAL TAPE SEALS EDGES, PROTECTING CABINET FROM STAINS/FINISHES

Applying Pre-Folded Film To Various Surfaces

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Film Taped And Draped Over Kitchen Cabinets

Molding Masking

Images below show methods of masking moldings with or without the use of pre-folded or unfolded film.

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Bagging Or Draping Non-Removable Lighting Or Plumbing Fixtures

WARNING! Make sure that any bagged or draped fixtures cannot be turned on while covered. Bagged lighting fixtures must not be used for illumination since the trapped heat will shorten the wire of the lamps and may cause a fire, especially when used on high-intensity lamp fixtures such as quartz, sodium, mercury vapor, or metal halide.

Many non-removable fixtures may be bagged using different sized plastic bags, including large and small garbage bags. The bags should be taped and sealed at the base of the fixture. Chandeliers, other hanging light fixtures, and ceiling fans may be protected by draping plastic sheeting around them and securing it with tape at the ceiling mount. If lighting fixtures must be used for illumination or cannot be disabled at night by removing the bulbs or locking off the power, the masking or bags must be removed.

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Bagging Sprinkler Heads, Nozzles, and Fire Alarm Sensors

WARNING! If fire alarm sensors, sprinkler heads, or nozzles on active fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, or dry chemical/ halon dump systems must be bagged or covered, the proper authorities must be notified and permission granted prior to covering the sensors, sprinkler heads, or nozzles. Dry chemical/halon dump system or fire alarm system zones in the work area should be disabled if the zone sensors are being covered. Plastic bags or masking film should not be used to cover sprinkler heads or nozzles.

CAUTION! Do not disturb the trigger mechanism and meltable link on sprinkler heads when covering a fixture.

Paper bags or paper cups that are not plastic coated may be taped over exposed sprinkler heads or nozzles. Secure the tape around the base of the head or nozzle. Make sure that the trigger mechanism and meltable link of sprinkler heads are not disturbed when covering the fixture. Do not use plastic materials since they may interfere with the operation of the sprinkler head or nozzle if a fire occurs. If the detection sensors for fire alarm systems or dry chemical/halon dump systems are also going to be covered, the zones of the system in the work area should be disabled. Photometric or ionization-type zone sensors may be covered with plastic bags or material to prevent accidental contamination or triggering of the sensor. At night, the coverings over the sensors should be removed and the fire system should be reactivated.

If pressure washing, spray painting, sweeping, or other cleaning activities are conducted that result in mist or dust clouds in areas where photometric or ionization-type fire detection zone sensors are located, the fire alarm system or dry chemical/halon dump system could accidentally be activated. In these cases, the zone sensors should be covered and deactivated after notification of the proper authorities. They should be uncovered and reactivated after the cleaning or spray painting activities are completed.

Covering, Draping, and Sealing

WARNING! Unguarded floor openings should never be covered by plastic sheeting and/or dropcloths. Do not climb or step on any covered items. Damage to the item or injury to the painter from falls caused by slippage of the covering may occur. If dust, hazardous material, or vapor infiltration will present a problem, the owners/occupants of the building must be notified, all interior ventilation equipment for the affected area must be turned off and disabled, and all openings to other areas must be sealed off with plastic and masking. Proper environmental containment equipment and personal protective equipment must also be used.

Once all items not to be finished or refinished are masked, dropcloths or plastic sheeting or plastic-coated paper should be used to cover floors, furniture, appliances, and other items left in the space. Floors and rugs should be covered using heavy grade plastic that is then covered with heavyweight area or runner type dropcloths to provide proper footing. If scaffolding will be erected or rolled about in the work area, plywood or similar sheeting should be positioned over the floor covering to prevent any possible damage to the floors or floor covering. Use lightweight plastic, plastic-coated paper, or dropcloths to cover objects left in the room. Make sure that the covering will not crush or damage the objects. If dust prevention is desired, use only plastic sheeting or plastic-coated paper over the objects. Make sure that the sheeting is secured with tape. Do not climb or stand on furniture or other covered objects. If dust, hazardous material, or vapor infiltration in areas outside the space to be refinished will present a problem, all external openings should be draped with plastic and sealed with tape. Building owners and occupants should be notified and interior ventilation systems for the work area should be shut off and disabled. Proper environmental containment equipment and personal protective equipment must also be used.

EXTERIOR MASKING AND COVERING

WARNING! Many paints applied prior to 1978 contain lead or other toxic heavy metals. In addition, some older flocked finishes, acoustic tile, duct wrapping, and plaster contain asbestos fiber. If laboratory tests or MSDSs confirm the presence of any of these, total space containment and dust or vapor collection equipment, along with approved personal protection, are required.

When preparing or painting exteriors, the most common problem a painter must deal with is the weather. Wind can carry dust, debris, and spray mist chemicals from the preparation activities, or paint mist or spatter from the painting operation a considerable distance. If the winds are strong, it may be best to postpone the job until it is calmer. If the job cannot be delayed, extensive masking and covering of adjacent surfaces and structures must be done or containment structures must be erected to prevent damage to other property. In addition, dry fall or dry fog paint usage may have to be considered. These paints are formulated so that mists from spraying dry before settling on a surface. If hazardous materials are involved or the weather is a problem in the preparation or painting operation, containment structures will almost always have to be fabricated and used. The image below is an example of an elaborate total containment enclosure erected around a water tower. The enclosure illustrated can be raised or lowered as needed to prevent wind-loading stress on the structure.

Total Structure Enclosure

Exterior Covering 

If containment enclosures are not used or required, all movable objects should be moved a safe distance from the work area. All other adjacent structures, shrubbery, foliage, lawn areas, and driveways should be draped with the appropriate material. Lawns, shrubbery, and other foliage should be covered with porous, lightweight dropcloths or fine-mesh netting. Temporary use of plastic sheeting over the netting (less than two or three hours) may be required in some work areas when cleaning surfaces with chemical low-pressure washers or when the painting is in progress in that area. The plastic sheeting should be moved as each work area is completed. It should be completely removed if it has been in place longer than three hours. Exterior air conditioning/heat pump heat exchangers or ventilation system fans must be covered to prevent damage to the units or the entrance of contaminants into the structure. These units must be disabled to prevent their operation while covered. In addition, the owners/occupants of the building must be notified that the systems are disabled.

Containment Enclosures

Containment is a way to limit dust, debris, paint chips, spent abrasives, and overspray from contaminating the environment. This is more than just a good idea; it is often required by local, state, or federal agencies. The type, concentration, and toxicity of the contamination will determine the extent of containment required. Extensive containment enclosures will require engineered approaches and will generally be erected by others.

A common containment method is to build a temporary enclosure around the work area or around the entire structure with materials such as tarps, drapes, or screens. Some enclosures are designed so that they can be raised or lowered quickly to reduce the effect of wind stress on the structure. Here are four general levels of containment:

  • Free-hanging enclosures are loosely attached to the structure to reduce the escape of airborne contamination from the work site. Free-hanging means that the enclosure is attached to the top and sides of the structure, but not to the bottom.
  • Partial structure enclosures surround the entire work area with materials supported by rope, cables, staging, or out rigging. They are not tightly attached to the structure.
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  • Total structure enclosures form a sound containment around the entire structure with the support of scaffolding or framing made of wood or steel. They attach to the structure to minimize the escape of contaminated debris. Figure 26 showed containment of a water tower. The enclosure is designed to be raised or lowered as necessary.
  • Total enclosures with negative pressure are the same as total structure enclosures with the addition of vacuum fans or dust collectors. Air movement must be sufficient to prevent airborne particles from escaping the enclosure. Dust collectors with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters may be required to treat discharged air.

Containment of dust, debris, and spent abrasives is not enough. They must also be collected and removed from the work site. One method is to let the material collected on ground tarps, decking, or the support system, and then collect it from there. Another method that works on elevated enclosures is to use vertical shields or funnels to channel the material into waste containers or storage hoppers below. Working over waterways can require creative ways to prevent contamination of the environment, such as anchoring a barge beneath a bridge enclosure to collect debris. Sometimes, booms are used on streams or rivers to catch stray contaminants.

If the waste involves lead-based paint or asbestos, it must be dealt with in accordance with strict health and environmental standards. The EPA has rules for handling, storing, labeling, shipping, and disposing of hazardous waste. In addition, state and local environmental laws may apply. Failure to follow these rules is not only hazardous but can also result in penalties.

In addition, OSHA has established regulations to protect the health and safety of workers in these environments, especially when removing lead-based paint or asbestos products. Besides wearing the appropriate protective gear and respirator, you must follow all prescribed safety procedures, which may include using on-site wash stands, decontamination facilities for changing clothes and showering, and undergoing physical examinations, including blood lead level readings.

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Cleanup

Cleaning up the work site after the job is done is extremely important, especially when dealing with hazardous material residues. All masking must be removed and disposed of properly. All coverings must be carefully folded from the outside edges inward to trap residue and debris. The residue and debris must also be disposed of properly. Vacuum up all remaining dust and debris. Dispose of used paint buckets, brushes, and other materials properly. Replace any fixtures, switch and receptacle plates, door and window hardware (knobs, door bolt plates, striker plates, and locks), and any other hardware that was removed prior to masking. Replace all objects (furniture and appliances) in their original position. The basic rule is to leave the work site cleaner and better looking than you found it. The extra effort will assure repeat business and referrals from the customer.

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