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Posts tagged ‘safety’

Paint Shop 2: Policies and Guidelines That Will Work

There’s one way to operate a hotel or facility paint shop. That is with a set of easy-to-follow policies and guidelines (vs. rules) that fit the engineering department – and the organization.

The shop size can total one wall with a few shelves, a large room with a separate workshop area, or an entire small building, or shed. The rules will be the same, basically.




JUST DO IT: Keep shop neat. Picked up. Swept up.

JUST DO IT: Keep shop floor clean, and clear of parts, tools; spills, piles of anything, garbage.

JUST DO IT: Keep workshop clean, swept up and ready for next project.

JUST DO IT: Put things away – and in their proper places – when you’re finished with them.

DON’T DO IT: No “borrowing” of paint shop/engineering/company property for personal use.

DON’T DO IT: No “loaning” or “giving” of paint shop/engineering property to other departments – unless your supervisor authorizes. TIP: Get a written authorization.


1. Set up a Sign-out and Sign-in system for all paint shop property.


2. Put up a Paint Shop bulletin board. Post inventory list, requisition list, FYIs, cartoons, etc. TIP: And, keep those lists updated!


3. Tightly close all cans, bottles, tubes, boxes, bags, containers, etc.


4. Thoroughly clean all tools before storing back on the shelf, in the cupboard, in kiosk, etc.


5. Clean equipment; and make a note of any repairs needed, before returning to its proper storage area(s).


A. Flush out spray gun spray lines. Clean nozzles, tips, hoses, product containers, etc.

B. Soak and clean spray guns to prevent sticking, clogging, damage to mechanisms.

C. Empty out any unused product from container; place in storage container for recycling – eg. paint, polyurethane, chemical treatment.

D. Wash out each container with appropriate cleaning agent. Let dry.


6. Do basic repairs and maintenance on tools and equipment before storing.


7. Store products and materials appropriately and safely. Follow MSDS, UBC, HAZMAT, EPA codes.


A. All cans, spray cans, bottles, boxes, tubs: Upright.

B. Wallcovering rolls, boxes: Upright.All tubes – eg. paint, tinting.


8. Store all tools and equipment in a safe manner.


A. Brushes: Bristles up (no cover); bristles upright (sturdy cover); bristles down (in “wet-storage” brush container).

B. Roller covers: on end, to maintain nap integrity.

C. Electrical tools: Turn to “OFF” position before re-shelving, re-storing.

D. Mechanical tools: Close/fold up handles and levers before re-shelving or re-storing.

E. Saw blades, sharp edges: Remove, retract, or cover. Store in visible spot of toolbox/cabinet.

F. Sharp objects, scissors: Close up; place with handles up, or facing YOU.

G. Razor blades: Retract into holders/handles; or store individually in closed, marked box.


9. Store nuts, bolts, washers, screws, etc. in plastic organizer boxes – or small plastic/metal containers.


10. Store small tools in divided tool chest, toolbox, small carry-all, unbreakable containers.


11. Store like products together, like materials together, like tools together, etc.


12. Store all products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment in dry, safe places.


13. Keep records of inventory use, loss, breakage, disrepair, “retirement,” etc.


14. Regularly, post a list of items that (a) are running low, (b) need to be requisitioned – and when, (c) need to be RUSH ordered, (d) are no longer used or kept in stock.


15. Post in visible spot a running list of your requisitioned items. Keep track of requisition and order status. Display date of order.


16. Requisition basic supplies before you get low. Keep checking with supervisor and/or purchasing manager about their order and delivery status.


17. Be cost-conscious and budget-time aware in selecting and ordering products, materials, supplies, new tools, etc.


18. Know which products, materials, supplies, etc. cannot be compromised – quality and durability versus cost.


19. Keep accurate records. Neat, complete, easy-to-understand, easy-to-use.


20. Discard products and materials that are no longer usable – dried up, discolored, faded, damaged (mold, mildew, water, sun); frayed, bug-infested.


** TIP: Fill partially full containers of paint, stain, varnish, etc. with sand, or other absorbent.


21. Discard products, materials, supplies, etc. that do not meet product standards and safety codes. WHY: Regulators and inspectors are watching. Too, people can get very ill.


22. Promptly discard damaged or broken tools and equipment that cannot be repaired – and are too dangerous to use in present condition. WHY: FIRE and SAFETY hazards.


23. Discard used rags, paper towels, etc. – especially those with strong odors, fumes, residue.

** TIP: Soak rags in soapy water to neutralize combustibility or flammability.


24. Report problems promptly to your supervisor, and to teammates. Keep everyone informed!


25. Promptly report losses, damages, and thefts of products, materials, supplies, tools, equipment.

WHY: It’s company policy! Also, some items may need to be replaced a.s.a.p.


Comply with the safety rules on an ongoing basis. It’s the best way to prevent accidents in your paint shop.

Establish policies and guidelines that are DO-ABLE.  Establishing that policy and practice helps all of your teammates – especially engineering/facility – keep the paint shop looking good, and working great! For everyone!

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Thank you for visiting “Painting  with Bob.”

Painting in Property Compliance: Signage, Symbols, Striping, Lettering, Zoning

Government codes are precise about which, and how, certain public, restricted and private areas must be marked on a property. This is for the safety of the public – and employees.

Specific signage and symbols must be placed at precise spots – in relation to borders, obstacles, pipes, operating equipment, etc. Stripes and lines must meet width and length specifications. Any lettering must be the specified font style, size and color. All markings must be painted with specification paint products, in code colors. The paint must be applied to the required thickness.

Often, the painting and maintaining of these areas rests with the facility’s staff painter. On large properties, the work is handled usually by commercial or industrial painting contractors. In large communities, you will find painting contractors that specialize in compliance painting. (It can be a very lucrative business.)

Here’s part of the “compliance checklist” that I developed to make certain I kept on top of these painting projects. The goal: Help keep the property, and business, in government compliance.

1. Handicapped parking space

A. Blue and White wheelchair symbol. Place within the middle of parking stall space.

B. Blue parking stall lines – left and right sides of stall space.

2. No parking zone

A. Emergency Services area: Red stripes – Diagonal parallel – Emergency Services area.

B. Public Warning area: Safety Yellow stripes – Diagonal parallel.

3. Loading/Unloading

A. SAFETY YELLOW and Red stripes – Combo – or

B. Individual – perpendicular parallel striping.

4. Pedestrian crossing

A. White – diagonal striping.

B. With/without SAFETY YELLOW stripe border.

5. Parking bumper pad

A. SAFETY YELLOW or Black – Solid – Corresponding diagonal stripes.


6. Emergency vehicles only

A. SAFETY RED – Diagonal striping and lettering. Typical color.

7. Oversized vehicles

A. SAFETY YELLOW – Straight or diagonal striping.

8. Compact vehicles – Found usually in parking garages

A. White or SAFETY YELLOW – Diagonal stripes – Border.

B. Reduced stall width – Restricts use of large vehicle.

9. Bike path

A. White border/line – Single line – Complete length of path.

B. Street crossings: White and SAFETY YELLOW – Diagonal lines. Red may be required.

10. Recreation court

A. Dependent on recreation form – eg. tennis, basketball, volleyball.

B. Examples: Tennis courts: WHITE-all lines; RED or GREEN-specific zones: eg. Serving box.

C. Follow standards for your application.

D. Keep gallons of CHALK white, BRIGHT RED, and green in shop.


A. Electrical conduit and piping systems. Check their standardized color coding systems.

B. Examples: Gas lines: Black. Water lines: SAFETY BLUE.

C. “DANGER” – SAFETY RED lettering – in all cases.

12. Pool area

A. No striping or color coding required.

B. Inside pools: Depth markings required. Typical color: BLACK.

C. Bottom stripes optional. Typical color(s): BLACK

13. Parking stall markers

A. WHITE lines – Regular parking; BLUE lines – Handicapped.

B. Parallel side markers: Safety Yellow. May need to be specific to asphalt type of coating.

C. Space size: 18 feet from curb to bumper or bumper pad; width: 9 feet; 11-11 ½ feet apart.

TIP 1: Create a chart for this checklist. Painter-to-property specific works best. Here’s your chance to get creative with that EXCEL program. My chart includes the following:

(1) list of areas, and requirements for each area;

(2) scheduled “DO-IT” week for each project, and how often it needs to be done;

(3) check mark ü symbol, if supervisor/management “go-ahead” is needed;

(4) paint product manufacturers, specification color numbers and names, drying times, quantity needed of each color, each time;

(5) available can sizes, approximate cost for each can of paint/coating/finish;

(6) list of supplies: paint thinner, plumb-line, masking tape, paper, etc.

(7) scaled down full-color icons of symbols, signs, stripes, lines, etc.

TIP 2: Once a year, or more often: Do a clipboard/notebook/App-board walk-around the property, with your supervisor/manager. Take your checklist along. Take notes. If done on your hand-held device, regularly click “SAVE.”

TIP 3: Access a copy of the standards and code compliance book for your property. Make two full-color copies of the section that applies to property code markings. Put each copy in a separate binder. Label each cover. Make one copy accessible to anyone that works in  engineering/facilities. Keep the second copy in your paint shop, in a secure place.


Which markings wear off or fade the fastest on your hotel/facility property?

Which painting-related warning signs and tapes work best on your property?

Which area(s) need, but lack, safety markings on your hotel/facility property?

Which area(s) need, but lack, signage on your property?

Examples: “Cross-Traffic,” “Staff Parking,” “Permit Parking Only,” “Hours of Use,” “CAUTION.”

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Be property safe! Help your property be compliant! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Wallpaper and Hidden Black Mold Treatment

In 2013, I ran into a serious environmental problem on a hospitality property. Black mold lined the wallpaper and covered the drywall in a busy front office. An office whose primary occupant suffered from chronic asthma. The budget did not include the services of a certified mold mitigation and remediation specialist. So, the job came my way.  

What led to the initial investigation for black mold and mildew?

A musty odor filled the room, and filtered into the hallway. The air seemed stuffy. The occupant reported constant irritation, and severe difficulties with breathing, chest tightness, itching and burning eyes, fatigue, etc.

How was the black and green mold discovered?

I pulled back a corner of one panel of wallpaper on every wall in the room. Dense black mold covered the back of each panel. Similar black and slimy green mold and mildew covered over 80 percent of the drywall itself.

What needed to happen as soon as possible?

The wallpaper had to be removed in an environmentally-safe manner. The black mold on all surfaces needed to be stopped (mitigated) from growing further. Then, the spores had to be removed completely (remediated.

Prior to treatment, what was done?

1. All small items were removed from the room.                                                                                2. The office furniture and equipment were moved into the center of the room, and covered with plastic sheeting, then old cotton sheets.                                                                                            3. The floor was covered with 2-5 ply plastic sheeting, then more old cotton sheeting.

The main objectives were (1) to protect everything else in the room from additional exposure and damage, and (2) to prevent seepage of the chlorine bleach and water solution, also rinse water, onto the surfaces.

How did you protect yourself?

I “suited-up” before performing each step. The protective gear included the following: disposable hooded paper suit, shoe booties, and particle mask; disposable plastic gloves; also eye goggles, breathing respirator with an organic filter.

How was the contaminated wallpaper removed?

First, the infested area was confined from the other areas,  and from other persons in the office complex. Next, each sheet of wallpaper was pulled off, carefully, from the drywall. Then, each sheet was rolled up, and placed on the floor out of the way.

Key considerations included (a) the toxic conditions; (b) density of toxic black mold;(c) amount of moisture on the paper’s back and drywall surfaces; and (d) time, budget and exposure limits.

How was the infested and contaminated wallpaper disposed of?

The paper was wrapped into 3-4 roll bundles, using masking tape. Then, per supervisory instructions, the bundles were placed into large heavy-duty trash bags. And, they were placed in the commercial solid waste dumpster at the back of the property.

How was the black mold killed (mitigated)?

1. The management-approved solution of 3 parts chlorine bleach to 1 part clean warm water was mixed in a 2-gallon garden sprayer.                                                                                                   2. The chlorine bleach-water solution was sprayed lightly onto one small at a time. And, it was allowed to set 8 to 10 minutes.                                                                                                          3. To keep the job running smoothly, the solution was applied promptly to adjacent areas.             4. Steps 1 through 3 were repeated until all wall, ceiling, woodwork, door, and trim surfaces in the room had been treated.

How was the black mold removed (remediated) from the drywall panels and other areas?

1.  The black mold residue, that hadn’t evaporated, was wiped from the area, with a moist sponge. 2.  On many areas, the application of the chlorine bleach and water solution had to be repeated two to three times.                                                                                                                              3. The walls, ceiling, woodwork, door, and frame were washed thoroughly with clear, warm water, using a fresh sponge. This prevented re-infestation and re-contamination.                                       4. The drywall had to be inspected for left over wallpaper adhesive. Any remaining residue needed to be removed completely before proceeding.                                                                                    5. All furniture, equipment, fixtures, etc. were checked carefully for any sign of black mold and mildew. None was found.

How were used supplies, materials and tools disposed of?

The plastic sheeting, cotton sheeting, heavily-used sponges, cleaning rags, etc. were placed together in large, thick-ply plastic trash bags and tightly tied closed. The disposable hooded paper suits, shoe booties and masks, also plastic gloves were placed into a separate thick plastic trash bag. Then, per instruction, all bags were placed in the commercial dumpster at the back of the property.

How were salvageable supplies, tools and equipment cleaned and dried?

Salvageable items included buckets, lightly-used sponges, eye goggles, respirator, etc. All items were washed thoroughly with strong detergent and water. Then, they were rinsed at least twice with clean warm water. And, everything was air-dried, overnight (24 hours).

How were the drywall and other surfaces dried?

A large fan was placed in the room. The door closed.  And, the room was allowed to dry overnight (24 hours).

How were the drywall panels and other areas prepped for refinishing?

1. For prep sanding, I covered my mouth with a dust/particle mask. And, I wore eye goggles.        2. Products and materials used included sandpaper, joint compound, caulking, etc.                       3. Tools and equipment included paint rollers, covers, frames, roller pole, and roller screen; also, brushes, buckets, ladders, etc.                                                                                                          4. Before proceeding, the floor, and the grouping of office furniture, were covered with clean plastic dropcloths.                                                                                                                                         5. Then, the walls, woodwork, molding, and door were sanded. Cracks were caulked and filled. Drywall irregularities were patched. Some areas were re-sanded, as needed.          

Ordinarily, the removal of wallcovering is relatively easy and fast, as well as very safe. The removal of contaminated wallcovering from an environmentally-compromised area requires more time and care.

Special recommendations: Difficult-to-remove wallcovering requires special techniques and expertise. Depending on the complexity of the area’s layout and the quantity of infested wallcovering, calling a wallcovering removal specialist, with mold remediation experience, may be a wise and safer choice.

Special caution: At all times, the conditions in the area must be respected. And, the health and safety of any person that comes in contact with that area must be protected.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *                                                                                                                          For a technical explanation, read:  (your state) “Florida – Indoor Air,” Environmental Protection Agency (,  or call 1-404-562-9143                                

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