CoatingsPro Magazine

SEP 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Page 23 of 83

24 SEPTEMBER 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Inspector's Corner Inspector's Corner A s with many aspects of the coatings industry, the way we do things today are largely reflective of how they started and developed over the past decades. Today, we have instruments, tools, standards, and associations that help us ensure that an inspector is qualified to do the job. But it wasn't always that way. An Inspector Is Born In the '80s and '90s, asset owners started to realize that they needed coating inspectors, be it for tanks, bridges, maintenance painting, etc. ey didn't know exactly what was involved with a coatings inspector, but they didn't have the knowledge or experience with coatings themselves. Most, if not all, asset owners are engineers, so they were taught in college about structural steel but only that aspect of the industry. ey may have learned about construction, such as about concrete and asphalt, but they didn't have any education or a specific section that talked about coatings. Another consideration at that time was lead paint. In the '60s, '70s, and up to the mid '80s, there were no concerns about using lead-based paint, which means that, at that time, close to 80‒100 percent of the bridges and other structural steel had used lead-based primers. ese lead issues were another concern for state agencies (aka owners). ey knew they wanted to avoid expos- ing employees to that hazard, but they didn't know how to do it. Finally, owners saw — and often still see today — coatings as a neces- sary evil. In many cases, they didn't realize that coatings played a key role in the protection of their assets, giving longer life and protection from corro- sion and the environment. Rather, they thought that coatings were more for aesthetics. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge about coatings, the asset owners started to go to consultants to provide that experience and expertise. is typically happens in the following ways: 1. Go directly to a consultant, or 2. Require the contractor get a third- party inspection, which they still do today through the Department of Defense (DOD). But when these owners put out these contracts for consultants or required that the contractors provide coating inspectors, they weren't quite sure what to ask for. ey didn't know about organizations that offered inspector training. On top of that, the owners didn't know what certifications to require. ere was a lot of time spent educating the owners on what was available in the industry and helping them understand what they actually needed. Once the inspectors were on the job, the owners' initial expectations were that the inspectors would inspect all aspects of a coatings project, from surface preparation to application, and assure that ambient conditions (e.g., humidity and surface temperatures) were met. ey had hold points to adhere to per the contract specification, which included surface preparation, coating application, etc. Inspectors were required to take physicals to check lead levels due to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. ese were basic, such as blood lead sampling to see what you have in your body initially and at the end of the project (aka entry and exit testing). Photos courtesy of Greenman-Pedersen Inc. By Tony Serdenes, Vice President/Regional Director of Coatings at Greenman-Pedersen Inc. The Modern Coatings Inspector

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