When I started my Florida painting company back in 2001, there wasn’t too much advice on how to start a successful business. Therefore, I had to learn the hard way. However, everything has turned out fine, and today I’m in a position to offer advice on how to become successful while doing what you love most.
Turn Your Dream into Safe Reality
If painting is your passion, and you’ve just decided to start a Florida painting business, there are a few things you should do, such as creating a business plan; finding out what paperwork you need to make your business legal (e.g. registration and licensing requirements, permits, etc.); getting liability and workers’ compensation insurance; completing a training program, especially if you have no painting experience; and investing in high-quality equipment.
But if you’re about to start a Florida painting business, one of the aspects you need to take a deeper look into is health and safety. Now, if you wonder why health and safety are so important, it’s essential to know that many things can go wrong when completing a painting project, ranging from minor injuries due to slips and trips to potentially life-threatening occupational diseases.
To avoid putting yourself, your staff and clients in danger, it’s important to know your responsibilities as an employer along with the health and safety procedures that should be implemented during a paint job.
As the owner of a Florida painting company, you must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the safety and health of your workers and clients. This basically means offering your employees training for their specific job, providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), carrying out risk assessments and taking adequate precautions against potential hazards. Now, let’s discuss each of these points individually.
Professional training programs provide relevant, vital information that your employees should know in order to do their job proficiently and protect themselves and the people around them against potential hazards. For instance, a training program will teach your staff how to use tools and PPE correctly, how to prepare and paint walls the right way, how to collect paint samples from walls and analyze them, how to scrape off lead paint safely and how to ensure proper ventilation for safe spray painting indoors.
It’s your responsibility to provide the right PPE for each job and ensure it’s being used and maintained according to OSHA standards. PPE for painting typically includes anti-dust mask, respirators, respirator cartridges, safety goggles, hearing protection, gloves and protective clothing. In addition, your workers should always read paint labels and follow safety recommendations strictly.
When inspecting an area in need of painting, removing obstacles will help avoid accidents like trips and falls. Also, don’t forget to check tools and equipment, including ladders and scaffolding. When cracks, splits, bends and breaks are detected, the equipment should be replaced. Since paints can contain flammable solvents, it’s critically important to eliminate ignition sources from the area that will be painted and place the right types of fire extinguishers within reasonable distance.
Ensuring that health and safety guidelines are always followed is the best precautionary measure you can take. In addition, since paints are the primary hazards in painting projects, never use unlabeled products, as they may contain harsh chemicals (e.g. petroleum by-products, ammonia, mildew inhibitors, heavy metals like mercury and, lead etc.) that can endanger people’s health. It’s also advisable to provide your staff with Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which provide information about the potential hazards associated with certain paint products and indicate the protective measures that must be taken when handling, storing and disposing of paint.
Workplace accidents and occupational diseases don’t just happen; they’re the result of unsafe work activities and conditions.
At Performance Painting, we pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge and experience in residential, commercial and industrial painting, attention to detail and high standard of workmanship. But above all these, we pride ourselves on our safety culture. Not only do our employees have been trained to comply with safety and health standards, they’re also encouraged to maintain a safe work environment by identifying and eliminating risks.