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Paintshop and Management: Transparency and Accountability

The terms “transparency” and “accountability” are used in every trade and industry, including government and not-for-profits. Together, also sometimes synonymously.

 

What do transparency and accountability mean, in relation to the painting and decorating trade?

 

Transparency: Painter demonstrates a clear, honest and understandable picture of his or her, as well as others’, decisions, choices, actions, behaviors, etc.

 

Accountability: Painter becomes answerable and takes responsibility for his or her, and/or others’ decisions, choices, actions, behaviors, etc.

 

How can transparency and accountability work in the painting and decorating trade?

 

Problem/Situation: Yellow paint used for “No Parking” and “Yield” lines faded, wore off fast.

Transparency: Painter shows management the difference in composition and durability between paint product supplied, and the product recommended for high-traffic exterior surface.

Accountability: Painter takes share of painter-supervisor-management group’s responsibility for approving, ordering and using less durable and low-cost paint product.

 

Problem/Situation: Re-touched up others’ surface touch-ups, still left paint color differences.

Transparency: Painter shows G.M. how budget and time crunch drove decision to re-touch up small area versus repainting entire wall or room.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for completing work order that way, knowing results and need to still repaint wall or room as soon as possible.

 

Problem/Situation: Repainted entire wall after bleach clean-up of major Black mold fungi buildup, costing more than touching up immediate surface.

Transparency: Painter shows Housekeeping Director and G.M. why repainting wall was necessary and explains why it may be needed again in near future.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for own and supervisor’s decision to repaint area as soon as possible, and to help get guest room back into circulation.

 

Problem/Situation: Painted office walls stripped of wallcovering and heavily infested with Toxic Black Mold Fungi.

Transparency: Painter shows management why applying paint vs. wallcovering is safer, healthier.

Accountability: Painter assumes responsibility for tone-down appearance; offers to add border.

 

Problem/Situation: Caulked, repainted lobby’s slylight area vs. touching up water leak spots.

Transparency: Painter shows management that treatment plan protected area. Also, how it “bought” them little more time before major repairs and reconstruction would be needed.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility caulking and repainting jobs temporary, visible fixes.

 

Problem/Situation: Declined “quick-fix” project to repaint all exterior guest room doors.

Transparency: Painter showed management dire need, and wise move, to properly prep, fill cracks, sand, and prime area before applying finish coat.

Accountability: Painter shared responsibility for appearance of doors, if repainted with minor prep work.

 

Problem/Situation: Discreetly inspected major wall damage, and advised extended-stay family of guests in suite before notifying managers.

Transparency: Painter explains to guest that damage must be reported before repairs could be done. Reported damages, situation to managers; suggested creative solution for repairing area.

Accountability: Painter takes responsibility for inspection and assessment before reporting problem. Takes responsibility for proposing that guest help make repairs to save everyone money and face.

 

Problem/Situation: Completed priority-scheduled project late, delayed by manager’s switching painter to handle unscheduled, extra project.

Transparency: Painter shows managers how delays impacted completion of priority project, before arrival of large group of guests.

Accountability: Painter assumes share of responsibility for non-completion of project in time, also for not holding firm to shared goal of General management-Engineering/Paintshop-Housekeeping.

 

Tips on how to look at any problem or situation

 

  1. It falls within the painter’s/paintshop’s scope of expertise, abilities, resources, responsibility.
  2. It has a solution. * So let’s find out what that is
  3. Let’s take care of it, the best we can with what we have to work with.
  4. Do it for the people. Do it for the place. Do it for the community.

 

Tips on how to look at Transparency and Accountability

 

  1. In the short-run or long-run, honesty is the best policy – and the easiest to justify.
  2. The obvious will always shine through, one way or another, eventually.
  3. It’s easy to understand what’s true, and to see through the rest.
  4. Self-responsibility is the trademark of a good human being.

 

A Painter’s work life is full of tests. Beyond skill, ability, knowledge, and adeptness.

 

Among them are tests that measure:

 

  1. His/her character, sense of ethics and philosophy of living.
  2. His/her loyalty to the painting trade and construction industry; the employer, manager, team.
  3. His/her commitment to the organization, and the business.
  4. His/her respect for and appreciation of everyone served by that organization – eg. guests.
  5. His/her collaborative spirit toward everyone with whom the business deals.
  6. His/her self-responsibility toward the organization’s role in the community at large.

 

A painter’s willingness to be transparent and accountable is a central key to professional and personal success, fulfillment and longevity!

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Thank you to every painter that tries to live and work a self-responsible life.

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Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Decorative Painting Brushes and Tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECORATIVE PAINTING TOOLS in PHOTO ABOVE.*

 

No. 1. Steel combs. Uses: Dragging, wood graining.

No. 2. Palette knife. Uses: Mixing artist’s acrylics or oils; scraping away paint, glaze in areas.

No. 3. Dragging Brush/overgrainer. Features: natural bristles one side, thick nylon bristles other.

No. 4. Badger-hair Brush. Uses: Smoothing oil glaze.

No. 5. Long-haired Spalter. Size 80. Uses: Smoothing oil glaze.

No. 6. Short-haired Spalter. Size 100. Uses Applying oil glaze, then smoothing it.

Nos. 7-8. Small Spalter/Mottlers. Sizes 40, 50. Uses: Wood graining, smoothing oil glaze.

Nos. 9-10. Toothed Spalters. Special oil brushes. Uses: Wood graining.

Nos. 11-12. Small, flat Brush/white nylon. Uses:Marbling, touch-ups, freehand painting acrylics.

No. 13. Small pointed round Brush/white bristles. Uses: Touch-ups, thicker veining marbling techniques with acrylics.

No. 14. Flat long-haired Brush/nylon. Uses: Marbling, fine detailing in acrylics.

No. 15. Long-haired Brush/nylon. Uses: Marbling with acrylics.

No. 16. Small pointed Brush/nylon. Uses Fine veining when marbling with acrylics.

No. 17. Long-haired Ox-Hair Brush. Uses: Marbling, woodgraining, freehand script and ornamentation (lines of varying thicknesses). TIP: Best with oils.

Nos. 18-19. Flat, White Bristle Brush. Uses: Marbling, woodgraining, corner touch-ups with oil-or-water-based paints.

No. 20. Flat long-haired Badget Lettering Brush. Uses: Marblig, freehand painting. TIP: Oils.

No. 21. Ox-hair Sign Painter’s Brush. Features: Long-hair cut flat at end. Uses: Marbling, freehand (for clean edges) in oils or acrylics.

Nos. 22-24. Stencil Brush. Feature: White bristles, slightly softer. Uses: With oils or acrylics.

No. 25. Round/oval thick nylon Brush. Uses: Spattering; coating thin, curved surfaces.

No. 26. Flat nylon Brush. Uses: Paint latex base coat, also acrylic glazes; baseboards, chiseling.

No. 27. Angled nylon Brush/nylon. A better quality brush. “Pre-used” in factory, leaves fewer marks. Uses: Latex painting, cutting in lines, hard-to-reach surfaces.

No. 28. Small flat, long-haired Brush/white bristles Uses: Oil paints.

No. 29. Flat 2 1/2–inch Brush/white bristles. Uses: Oil-base coating; squared-off ends; general purpose; precision edges,/trims.

Nos. 30-32. Round Bristles/white. Uses: Oil glazing; oil-based painting. TIP: Use separate brushes for separate functions.

No. 33. Well-worn round Brush. Uses: Stirring paints.

 


Decorative painting can create warm, personal spaces from bland, contemporary walls. It can create focal points out of any surface such as doors, trim, woodwork, even ceilings. It can create masterful heirlooms from worn, discarded furniture. It can transform jeweled and gold-leafed treasures from thrift shop and yard sale finds.

 

Decorative painting – creating the “right surfaces” – can make a room, area or piece come alive.

 

  1. Underscore or downplay its assets, and camouflage its drawbacks.
  2. Add new life, a new feel.
  3. Blend the old with the new – family antiques with store bargains.
  4. Make newer surfaces appear very aged, hundred-to-centuries old.
  5. Create a special, and different, touch with every applications, every tool on every surface.

 

With decorative painting, you can create a signature piece from every piece.

Decorative painting differs from standard interior painting in three distinct ways:

 

  1. Paints used. On top of two layers of interior paint, you apply two thin coats of transparent paint – “Glaze” – that you mix, then tint to the desired hue.
  2. Colors. At the heart of decorative painting, especially when carefully chosen and properly mixed. Produced by blending wet paints on palette, then placing translucent layers atop an opague base/ Result: Resonance, depth, a subtle glow as mixing.
  3. Pattern. The way you apply glaze contributes to uniqueness of each application. Using a wide array of tools, multiple shapes and sizes. You manipulate the glaze while wet to form patterns or different broken-color effects (eg. ragging, combing, sponging, flogging).

 

Decorative painting calls for creativity, skill, and patience. It alls for paint and finishing products that suit the surface and areas. It calls for the appropriate tools to achieve the desired pattern, texture, finish, and effect.

 

IS DECORATIVE PAINTING A GOOD OPTION FOR A SURFACE WHERE YOU PAINT?

 

Are guests of your hotel ready for unique surroundings and surface embellishments?

Are the patients and staff of your hospital looking for alternatives to the opague paint colors on the walls and in public areas?

Are your commercial clients seeking a personalized alternative to wallpaper?

Or, does your private customer want something other than the area rug to dress up a wood floor?

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* Photo and descriptions from: Recipe for Surfaces: Decorating Paint Finishes Made Simple. Text by Mindy Drucker and Pierre Finkelstein.** Photographs by Tony Cenicola. Copyright 1993, Quarto Inc., Fireside Books, Simon and Schuster, N.Y., pp. 42-43.

Mindy Drucker is a freelance writer, specializing in design and home decoration topics. Pierre Finkelstein is a master decorative painter. He is recognized worldwide for his skill in applying standard, matching existing and creating custom finishes. Born in Paris, he owns Grand Illusion Decorative Painting, Inc., New York City.

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“Painting with Bob” appreciates that you are following.
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Artist Brushes 101

Artist brushes have been an important part of my painting career since serving as an apprentice. On nearly every interior project, I saw a journeyman painter using them. Favorites were long, thin-handle and fine-bristle brushes to perform precision application tasks.

 

EIGHT COMMON USES FOR ARTIST BRUSHES BY COMMERCIAL PAINTERS

 

  1. To coat the smallest of spots
  2. To paint pencil-fine lines
  3. To edge decorative finished areas
  4. To maneuver paint around sharp curves, odd shapes
  5. To reach into very visible corners
  6. To add very narrow borders, or accent lines in murals
  7. To outline or “in-line” letters, numbers, symbols, etc.
  8. To detail borders, dado, furniture, fixtures, mirror frames, etc.

 

Their usefulness and effectiveness are unlimited. And on a regular basis, an artist brush in hand has made precision craftsmanship very achievable. Even lucrative.

 

BASIC ARTIST BRUSH KIT FOR A PAINTER AND DECORATOR

 

  1. Fitch Brush – flat, Sable bristles. Example: No. 4 ($12.46, http://www.jerrysartarama.com*).
  2. Bright Brush – flat, square tips. Example: No. 8. Uses: Fill in open area, shading.
  3. Angular Tip Brush – 5/8. Uses: Cut in lines, make contour strokes.
  4. Round Brush – No. 3X0 ($8.96*). Uses: Fine detailing; No. 4 ($13.34*). Uses: Fill in narrow areas
  5. Linear Brush – No. 4 (long, thin). Uses: Produe fine lines, edging
  6. Filbert Brush – flat, round bristles/ferrule. No. 2 ($12.06*). Uses: Painting florals, plants.
  7. Fan Brush – No. 2 ($20.85*). Uses: Create irregular texture effects, also paint vegetation.
  8. Polishing Mop – Bushy, full, stout handle. Uses:

 

NINE ARTIST BRUSHES and TOOLS TO ADD AS BUDGET ALLOWS

 

  1. Watercolor Brush – Nos. 0-12. Uses: Touch up, match grain pattern of figures.
  2. Micro mini detail – Creative Mark, set/12/20/0-10/0 ($25/00*). Features: Easy-to-hold handles, synthetic. Uses: Tight spots, small details; spotter, angular shader.
  3. Spalter – Chungking bristle hair, set/3, 1-3 inch flat ($11.99*). Features: Bigger scales, softer bristles. Uses: Blending paint with thin oils/acrylics.
  4. Grumbacher Degas or Gainsborough oil and acrylic – No. 1-12 ($3.79-$14.99*). Features: Flat, Round, Fan, Brush, Filbert.
  5. Mural Brushes – Creative Mark. Golden flat, round, Filbert; White round, flat, Filbert. Nos. 30, 40, 50 ($6.99-$19.99*). Uses: Large scale painting; excellent for acrylics, watercolors, traditional waters and mixable oils.
  6. Grumbacher Fine Hog Bristles – Sizes 1-12; Series 760B-Bright, 760F-Flat 760R-Round, 760Filbert, 760N-Fan. ($2.09-$5.59 *). Features: Strong, durable, manipulative; heavy point; unique taper bristles interlock/maintain shape; easy control placement of color.
  7. Bob Rankin’s Big Bad Brush – 3-inch. ($15.00*). Chungking Hog bristles, flagged ends, seamless brass ferrule. Features: Ends Holds lot of paint, grips color, distributes evenly/quickly. Uses: Blending, wash techniques; robust design allows exerting pressure on strokes; perfect bounce-back/performance.
  8. Bargain Seconds Bristle Set/12 – Creative Mark. ($7.41*). Features: Variety of hairs: pony, ox, camel, bristle.
  9. Wipe-off Tool – ($6.49*). Varnished wood handle, 2 brass ferrules; tips: soft rubber/both sides: chisel, fine point. Uses: Wipe off excess paint quickly/accurately. All media.

 

FIVE ARTIST BRUSHES and TOOLS ESPECIALLY FOR DECORATIVE CRAFTSPERSON

 

  1. Colorwashing Brush – China bristle, nylon/polyester, or Badger. Uses: Work paint and paint glaze combinations onto base coat to achieve “looking-through” effect.
  2. Flogger/Whacking Tools – Long bristle brush, dust mop, car mop, tire brush. Features: Floggers – Absorbent like dense brushes, mops, dusters, car mop. Features: Can apply or suck up glaze. Whackers – Non-absorbent like plastic brushes, tire brushes, toilet/tub cleaning brushes. Uses: Woodgraining; removing parts of wet glaze from surface; creating large-scale texture.
  3. Dragging – Long bristle brush (eg. wallpaper), large comb, rubber window squeegee, driveway surfacing broom. Uses: Emulate striped fabrics; create fine-texture finish, fine lines.
  4. Stippling Brush – Bristles usually larger, mid-length. Uses: Create fine texture of dots, by dabbing repeatedly over surface; create smooth impression from distance, texture close; create “fade-away” appearance. Alternative: Stainer brush. Features: long, dense, flexible bristles.
  5. Sable Short-Handle – Escoda Versatil Synthetic. Sizes 2-22. ($8.00-$57.39*). Features: Exceptional snap; Spring-like Kolinsky hair, perfect point keeps shape; incredible fluid retention; superb absorption; affordable replacement to Kolinsky.

 

By the way, the area may determine the type and number, or size, of the artist brush that you need. Your level of skills and abilities with standard paintbrushes will, more likely, determine which, if any, artist brushes you actually use.

 

In the right hands, a two-inch Purdy or Wooster Trim Brush can work artistic magic. It can paint pencil-thin lines…add pin dots for effect… cut in razor-sharp corners…highlight and detail an artist’s signature.

 

FOOTNOTE: Artist brushes are different than decorative finishing brushes. Some artist brushes are used in applying, then detailing, certain decorative finishes.

 

See: Paintshop: Decorative Painting Brushes and Tools 101

 

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An artist’s hand is often more valuable than an artist’s eye.

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Thanks for stopping by “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: The Truth About Paint

“You get what you pay for” goes for paint and supplies as well.

 

For the painter, it is important to get the best value out of the products chosen. Painting materials must guarantee some degree of durability to retain their worth over time. You look for something else if they don’t.

 

What separates a quality paint product from one at the bottom of the barrel? One is a quality-formulated product; the other pretends to be one, particularly as they try to compete.

 

Typically, you can rely on a paint product which is a high-end brand name. And within that, the most expensive is normally the best. The reason is research and development.

 

When a company focuses on making a better, longer lasting product, the result should be a more durable product. At the same time, the manufacturers of all higher-end products do try to make improvements to even their lower-end, cheaper materials.

 

When it comes to paint, here’s what you should look for:

  1. amount of pigment.
  2. volume of solvent. CAUTION: Some paints have more water than they should.
  3. cost per gallon, versus the cost per five-gallon unit (not more than $15/$130.)
  4. paint is not manufactured by a foreign subsidiary of main brand.
  5. product has UV protection. TIP: If it doesn’t the surface may oxidize faster.
  6. binder percentages in paint are equivalent to similar priced and types of paint.
  7. viscosity test level information. TIP: My opinion: Paint is worthless if the material is too thin.
  8. Paint with primer” added is a misnomer. CAUTION: The chemistry of either cannot be combined to produce the same results as when the primer is applied by itself, then later the finish paint.

 

About Primers. A primer bonds to the surface. It provides a porous anchoring surface that the top coat to which it can bond effectively.

 

“Paint with primer” products skip one critical step. Be careful about this, especially if you’re an experienced painter. The time and money you think you are saving, along with the idea that your work has become easier, diminishes the actual quality of the job itself. You could be painting something twice in a year instead of once.

 

Now, who has the best Paint?

The two central choices are Glidden and Sherwin Williams. They have a long and valued reputation for making high quality, long lasting and moderately priced coatings. For the price, they are also the most diverse in their product types. Sherwin Williams, by far, has the best industrial line.

In its response to the residential market, the Behr paint line is exceptional, as well, although the pricing is somewhat higher than Glidden. For stains, Minwax and Olympic are without real competition. They also have a long history behind them. In the automotive industry, I would rate DuPont as the best option.

 

What are the most durable paints?

 

The three that I select the most are the following:

  1. Elastomeric compounds for exterior commercial masonry surfaces,
  2. Two-part Urethanes for automotive refinishing,
  3. Two-part Epoxy products for commercial/industrial corrosion and abrasion resistance.

 

Within reason and knowledge of these products, they may be purchased and applied by the general public.

 

A True On-Site Story…

 
I once painted a smoke stack with a silicon, heat resistant alkyd paint. The label said the product was resistant up to 600 degrees Farenheit.

After two days of curing, the smoke stack was put back into service. That same day the paint bubbled and peeled off, sending sheets of paint floating to the ground. It had been shown that the temperature of the metal heated to a consistent 625 degrees. Was it the paint product’s fault?
Several days later, I repainted the stack with another heat resistant product. This time it was a high-heat, aluminum fibered material. Once the stack became heated, everything turned out fine, no loose or peeling paint. In this case, I said it was the paint. Go figure.

 

Every experienced painter has a less than favorable on-site story to relate. Hopefully, yours had a positive ending, like mine did. Eventually.

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Best wishes from “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert  D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: Preventing Permanent Damage To Your Own Body

Every painter that’s worked in the trade for three months or longer knows about health and safety issues. Whether working for a hotel or facility, a contractor, a corporation, or on his or her own.

 

SEVEN CAREER PAINTERS AND THEIR HEALTH ISSUES…

 

LARRY herniated three lumbar discs from lifting, carrying and moving heavy paint equipment.

TIM fell and lost use of his thoracic and lumbar spine areas, both legs and one arm, after a scaffolding collapsed.

WAYNE damaged both hips climbing extension ladders and scaffolding, while carrying heavy paint cans and spray equipment.

PAUL destroyed the ligaments in his “painting hand” and wore down cartilage in his wrists from years of repetitive motions.

JESSE developed spondylosis in both knees from climbing ladders, bend, and crouching.

KEN wore down the joints, tendons and muscles in his “spraying hand.”

MARK developed skin cancer from frequent exposure to paint chemicals and direct sun.

 

Over time, over 78 percent of painters suffer permanent damage to their hands and wrists, spinal cord, knees, hips, and feet. And, they develop irreversible respiratory, lung, eye, and skin problems.

 

It’s all that lifting, toting, carrying, pushing, pulling, moving, bending, stooping, crawling, crouching, etc. It’s all that breathing in and coming in contact with toxic paint product chemicals, cleaning agents, environmental hazardous materials, etc.

 

Gross picture that I’ve painted? It’s meant to be. Alarming painters’ prognoses? It’s meant to be.

 

TEN TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR OWN HEALTH

 

Overall: Invest in and regularly use supports for the parts of your body that you use the most, and//or are already weak, damaged, or worn.

 

  1. Lifting – Besides that “bend and lift from the knees” rule, always wear a back brace from your thoracic spine to below the waist.
  2. Working on knees – Slide on knee pads, under or over your pants legs.
  3. Hand and wrist grasping – Slide foam tube over paint brush handles. (TIP from Mark Santos, Wall Wizard.)
  4. Carrying – Wear padded, firm grip gloves.
  5. Pushing/pulling – Wear elbow and forearm pads and braces.
  6. Spraying – Besides longer hand and wrist support gloves, wear a soft neck brace. I like one that fits under my shirt or jacket collar.
  7. Standing/climbing – Into those work boots, insert contoured gel pads. BONUS: Ankle/shin socks or supports.
  8. Stooping – Yes, affordable hip, thigh and femur supports are available – and work great.
  9. Breathing hazardous chemicals/fumes, etc. – Minimum: Inexpensive masks. Recommend: Adjustable respirators. Safest: Self-contained breathing/air flow apparatus.
  10. Skin and eyes – SUIT UP for skin. Wear snug-fitting safety glasses that cover entire area.

 

Eventually, you may become one of those painter’s statistics, regardless of what you do and precautions you take.

 

However, protecting and supporting your vital “painter parts” will certainly give you a one-up at minimizing those risks and maximizing your painter’s world shelf life.

 

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Protect your own body; it’s the only one that you’ll ever have!

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Stay safe. Live well. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Heat Illness: Preparing-for-Prevention Tips for Painters: Part II

As painters and decorators, we are our own best advocates in preventing heat illness on the job. We must play an active role in the protection of our own health. We cannot leave the responsibility to our employers.

 

In fact, both OSHA and EPA limit the employer’s level of responsibility. Employers tend to make these work-related choices, and provide preventive measures at their discretion.

 

Now – the cooler months – is the time to come up with a plan to prevent and treat on-the-job heat illness symptoms.

 

Now is the time to determine how we will handle our workload during the sustaining hot and humid months/season. Especially in climates like Florida has from May through October.

 

NOW is the time to get the facts out about heat illness.

 

  1. Talk about it: types, symptoms, risks and warning signs, safety issues.
  2. Publicize it.
  3. Orient everyone on the team and staff about what to look for.
  4. Train team members and staff what to do, when, and how.
  5. Commit to on-going heat illness awareness and advocacy at the workplace.

 

Heat Illness Prevention Tips for Painters

 
1. Know your body.

A. What is your tolerance level to heat, humidity, and sun exposure (direct/indirect)?

B. What is your exertion limits within that tolerance level?

2. Know your work environment.

A. What is the highest temperatures in which you must work during the hottest, most humid season? How many hours a day? How many days a week?

B. What is the actual temperature felt by your body – with the heat index added?

C. What us the longest period of time during a work day, that you must work continuously in that actual temperature?

D. How many days during a week must you work continuously in those actual conditions?

E. What is the level of clean-air and ventilation within your work area(s) on a continual basis?

3. Know your job’s physical demands.

A. How many hours in a day must you work in hot, humid conditions? Number of days a week?

B. At how fast of a pace must you do your work? Very slow? Slow? Moderate? Fast? Very fast?

C. For how long a period must you keep up that pace? _____ minutes. _____ hours?

D. How many breaks do you get, ordinarily, each of these days?

1) At what times during the work day are the breaks scheduled?

2) How many additional breaks are you allowed during work days in hot, humid conditions?

3) How often can you take a break when heat and humidity conditions meet or exceed your tolerance level. (See 1 and 2 above.)

4. Know your physical limits in meeting the physical demands.

A. How many pounds can you lift, carry or move, ordinarily and at once?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum number of pounds? Without symptoms.

2) With B, do you need to use a cart or other conveyance piece of equipment?

B. How long can you climb and stand on a ladder?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum length of time? Without any symptoms

C. How long and often can you bend, stoop or crouch within one hour?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest that you can do these? Without symptoms.

D. How long can you stand and how far can you walk without resting? Holding/carrying anything that weighs your maximum poundage? (See 4-A above.)

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest period and furthest distance that you can do these? Without any symptoms.

5. Know what your first heat illness symptoms may be.

A. What have been your first heat illness symptoms in the past?

B. What, if any, medical conditions that you have could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms?

C. What, if any, medications that you take could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms? Include over-the-counter products – eg. antihistamines, aspirins, nasal sprays.

 

Do you have a low tolerance level to any heat-humidity-ventilation environmental conditions?

  1. Avoid them. Work in cooler, shaded areas when above conditions do exist in other areas.
  2. Do not allow yourself to be placed in any situation that might cause, trigger and/or exacerbate your heat illness susceptibility.

 

SPECIAL LIFE-SAVING HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION TIPS

 

  1. Schedule exterior painting during the coolest times of your work day. Examples: A. Dawn-to-10 AM. B. 5 PM-to-dusk or dark, or later.
  2. Plan to work on surfaces/areas opposite full-sun exposure. Examples: A. West and north sides of buildings when sun is over east and south sides.
  3. East and south sides of buildings when sun is on west and north sides.
  4. Plan to work in hot, humid areas when an emergency comes up. NOTE: Ordinarily, there are times when exterior painting must be done immediately.
  5. Wear short, white painter’s pants when you must work in outdoor temperatures 90 plus degrees. Regardless of the time period involved. NOTE: Get approval before the hot season arrives to adjust clothing to fit extreme heat/humidity conditions.
  6. Wear a cap or hat with a bill, when working and/or walking in the sun. TIP: Wider is wiser.
  7. Keep a drinking water supply with you at all times.
  8. Carry packs of small snacks in your pocket. Examples: Walnuts/almonds, Peanut M&Ms, raisins, trail mix, granola bars, energy bars.
  9. Carry frozen ice pack in small cooler on your golfcart or pushcart. While you’re at it, stick in a couple small cans of healthy juice. Examples: V-8, orange, apple. TIP: Pack a banana, too. High in potassium. Essential for sodium/hydration leveling.

 

BOTTOM LINE: The painter on duty must get his/her work done. One way or another. So watch out for yourself when the heat and humidity start to climb. And, set the standard for others to do the same.

 

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Learn and Live “Heat Illness” Free. Go to: www.osha.gov/heatillness.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel/Facility Painters: Is Outsourcing Your Paintshop Services in Your Future?

It should come as no surprise to any hotel/resort staff member, when the news arrives that the management and operations of a certain department will be outsourced.

 

Other mid-to-large sized for-profit employers have been farming or “outsourcing” for needed services for years. More and more local, county and state governments have been contracting out for the management and operation of entities under their umbrella.

 

What throws a hard, curve ball is when the outsourcing company is going to move in its own people to staff that department, which is a part of the organization. EXAMPLES: Food and Beverage/Catering, Pools and Gazebos, Housekeeping/Laundry, Security, Sales, Conventions.

 

With a large department, the outsourcing company may opt to employ certain existing hotel staff members. Persons experienced working in that area, and with its targeted guests and visitors.

 

Usually, these persons need to complete new, pre-employment forms for the external company. Including for federal and state tax withholdings. Usually, the persons do not need to go through the hotel’s Human Resources’ job application and screening process.

 

So far, hotel engineering departments have been exempted from the contracted outsourcing system of employment. Some exceptions exist.

 

  1. The property owners decide to outsource the management and operations of the entire hotel business. Here, existing staff can sign on with the external company, or a designated staffing company.

 

  1. The outsourcing company “out-sources” the hotel’s engineering department services.

Note: Designated staff members may be able to apply to the outside company, to continue to work at the same hotel.

 

  1. The outsourcing company decides to switch engineering operations to a temporary and on-call arrangement. For all positions and tasks, or for certain positions and tasks.

Note: Usually, some of the current engineering staff members are offered the opportunity to work in his/her current – or a similar – position, but as a temporary or on-call worker.

 

In all cases, some positions are eliminated. Some job quotas are reduced. A lot of department re-organization takes place.

 

In smaller businesses – eg. hotels and inns, clinics, hospitals – the services of a full-time painter may not be needed any longer. They may not be affordable. Within the budget.

 

Thus, the career hotel/facility painter needs to be ready to adapt. And, to switch “employers,” if and when the time comes.

 

At the same time, take note!

 

Not all outsourcing arrangements work. Many get axed at some point. Department management and operations are returned to in-house people. Former staff members may be re-hired. Experienced employees are put back in charge of operating their respective department.

 

After reasonable tries, more city and county governments are voting against renewing their contracts with outsourcing companies. Businesses are tightening up qualifications and expectations for their outsourcing contractors. They are more closely, and accurately, computing the bottom line.

  1. “Are we really saving money? “
  2. “What’s the trade-off been within – and for – our community?”

Hotels and resorts are listening to their experienced staff members, about major organizational and ethical problems dealing with the outsource company’s people. Hospitals report losing once loyal employees and community support. Also they report an increase in serious liability quality-of-service and patient treatment issues.

 

What can a hotel painter do to influence top management and owners in deciding which way to go?

 

  1. Show a greater and more sincere interest in your hotel, and especially in your teammates. What’s really going on with them? What’s great, so-so, not good at all? Share in any on-going dialogue among your coworkers. Your bosses, too. TIP: Hold back a little here. Keep “person,” “personal,” and “personality” out of this.
  2. Show an interest in the “outsourcing” discussion. Periodically, exchange a few ideas with your chief engineer. Especially, if you’re the lead painter and help him handle a lot of the troubleshooting.
  3. Discreetly ask questions. Try to find out the reasons management is looking at outsourcing your job. Or, the entire engineering department.

 

THEN, ZERO IN ON YOUR POSITION…YOUR FUTURE.

 

  1. Update the hotel’s job description for your job. Provide a clear, detailed picture of exactly what you do there. Include both standard and special skills and abilities that your hotel’s painter must have. To get the job done! NOTE: Now is not the time to underestimate and undervalue what the real job entails. Now is not the time for humility.
  2. List the types of tasks, orders, projects, and emergency jobs you have done. Estimate the frequency with which you’ve done each. Indicate the location of each on the property. TIP: Keep your own on-site painter’s photo gallery up to date, and captioned!
  3. List the customer service functions you perform. That includes for team members, fellow staff members, managers; guests, visitors; suppliers, vendors, contractors; inspectors; and the community.
  4. Offer your experience and insight as input to the (a) chief engineer and (b) general manager. Limit what you offer in information to details that will positively support your bosses’ true position. Also, their short-range and long-range goals.

 

Final Note: As the staff painter, you are often in a unique and influential position. You tend to come into regular contact with coworkers and managers in many of the departments and work areas within the hotel’s organization. You tend to “brush shoulders” with certain aspects of the hotel or facility’s actual business.

 

Bottom Line: You may be able to play a key role in management’s decision to outsource. Or not.

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“Press toward the mark that you want to leave behind.”  RDH

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2012, 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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