Environmental Health & Safety

Painting (Interior) Policy for Contractors

January 2010
any building, including houses built before 1978 must be assumed to contain lead paint, unless tested.
  • Contractors hired to paint must have a minimum of “Lead Safe Work Practice Training” provided by a recognized training company.
Proof of insurance and training is required before work is initiated.
  • Contractors that observe children under the age of 6, or an expectant mother, shall immediately stop work and notify Amherst College Physical Plant Paint Shop or Amherst Rental Housing.
  • At no time shall any work related to lead paint be performed, unless a properly trained supervisor is on site, over-seeing actual conditions and practices.
  • Before interior work is initiated, the contractor shall;
  1. have all of the proper equipment and tools, including HEPA vacuums to mitigate hazards on site.
  2. restrict access to all occupants while work is being performed, until final clean up is done.
  3. Clean up must be inspected by Amherst College Physical Plant Paint Shop, Amherst Rental Housing or Environmental Health and Safety before re-occupancy is permitted.
  • (2) Two signs and caution tape are required on the door
    • DO NOT ENTER
    • NO EATING, DRINKING OR SMOKING
  1. Have protective sheeting which must be placed on the floor approximately 5’ from work area. It must be taped or stapled to the baseboard.
  2.  Drapes, curtains, furniture, rugs and other similar materials must be at least 5’ from work area, or shall be covered with plastic and taped, if not relocated.
  3. Food storage areas, including refrigerators, must be wrapped in plastic and taped to prevent any possible contamination.
  4. All tools and equipment must be on the plastic sheeting before any work is initiated.
  5. Before stepping off tarp or sheeting, after work has started, contractors shall verify clean shoes and properly contain equipment to prevent spread of contamination.
  6. If door to the room is within 5’ of work area, the contractor shall either;
  • Close and seal openings from inside, or
  • Cover opening with plastic, and seal in place
  • Surface Preparation:
  1. Have all damaged areas evaluated for cause and corrective action before painting.
  2. Wet scrape any loose, peeling or flaking paint, or
  3. Use tools/equipment that are attached to HEPA vacuum system.
  4. Fill all holes and cracks less than 1/16” wide with non-shrinking spackle compound.
  5. If sanding is necessary to feather edge;
  • Use wet abrasive sponge or wet sand paper with water.
  1. If encapsulants are to be used, they must be approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD.
  2. If cracking or alligatoring is extensive, contractors shall use a mesh with a 2” overlap, before applying final coats, wallpaper, spackle and/or paint.
  3. The use of wood, sheetrock, plaster and similar material, is
    also permitted to repair larger holes and cracks.
  • The work area shall be inspected by Amherst College Physical Plant Paint Shop, Amherst Rental Housing and/or Environmental Health and Safety after painting and clean-up has been completed.