On a warehouse store project, I needed to paint miles of stripes on the concrete floors. Using a small supply cart, with lockable wheels, was the most effective and low-stress way to get it done.
A painter’s ability changes with age, injury and illness.
So what’s new? You will still be able to plan and carry out a job very successfully. And, when something not in your control is added to the job? Adapt and adopt!
KEY TIP: Know what your abilities are before you begin a new project, or sign on with a new employer. And, “suit up” – prepare – accordingly.
KEY TIP: Find creative ways to perform the work.
KEY TIP: Get 21st century savvy in project scheduling, completing under budget, and meeting – even exceeding – your employer’s and customer’s/guests quality expectations.
TIPS TO ASSESS YOUR CAPABILITIES AND ADAPT WAYS YOU WORK
1. Is pain involved? Can you take it? The no. 1 deal breaker.
Example: Periodic knee pain from a college football injury hampers your endurance.
TIP: Change the way you stand, walk, bend, climb, etc.
TIP: Apply common strain-relieving techniques, taught by occupational and physical therapists.
TIP: Wear a light-weight, unnoticeable brace when you’ll be using those knees a lot.
TIP: Follow preventive and strengthening strategies recommended by sports’ medicine pros.
2. Is accessibility involved? Are you mobile? Can you drive, walk, reach, bend over, climb?
Example: You can’t reach surface areas that require unusual body positions for long periods.
TIP: Improve how you reach – eg. turn your upper torso differently.
TIP: Improvise. Find creative ways to reach the surface – eg. bendable double extension poles.
TIP: Build a small cart, with wheels, to roll along for hours, and help get painting done.
3. Is dexterity involved? Can you hold a paint brush for an extended period? Can you manipulate it for an entire day?
Example: It will take you all day to brush on a special coating over a large exterior surface.
TIP: Build up those muscles, joints and tendons with break-time and off-work exercises.
TIP: Apply thin coat of muscle/joint cream to hands and wrists under inexpensive cotton gloves.
TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that maximize grip and free-motion, and minimize strain.
TIP: Outfit your brush handle with a removable grip pad, designed for that purpose.
4. Is dexterity and grip involved? Can you hold a spray gun all day, and spray effectively?
Example: You need to spray out the exterior corridors and walkways of all guest buildings.
TIP: Schedule 2-minute relaxation “un-grip it” break every 30 minutes.
TIP: Do “finger flexing” every 45-60 minutes, or more often if possible.
TIP: Take advantage of between times – walking to-and-from, standing in line, talking on phone to boss or supplier, eating lunch, etc.
TIP: Outfit your spray gun with a removable grip pad, designed for spray gun handles.
TIP: Wear thin, ergonomic gloves that are washable. (Most affordable are sold online.)
5. Is a chronic illness involved? Can you work around its symptoms and medication side effects?
Example: Your asthma kicks in big time when you’re painting areas with heavy toxic mold.
TIP: Use an organic vapor respirator, or a self-sustaining breathing apparatus.
TIP: Take regular breaks, and leave the area. For at least 5 minutes each time.
TIP: Pick your paint times, as much as possible. Sun-exposure, no/minimal moisture.
TIP: Work with an oscillating fan running – lower speed, clean air flow.
Hopefully, you know your own body better than anyone. That is, if you’re really living inside that intricately-designed structure.
TIP: Periodically, tune in to what it’s telling you.
* Aches, pains, cramping, twitches, burns, blurriness, fatigue, etc. – all messengers.
TIP: Study your own job, and what it entails.
* Movements, positions, extensions, loads, time lengths, etc.
TIP: Find easy ways to adapt to those changes with yourself.
* Convenient, convertible, un-costly.
TIP: Experiment. Try a different method, position, grip, device, etc.
* And, if one doesn’t work for you, try another. And another.
TIP: Seek input from others that may have tips that will work for you.
* Painters in the trade longer than you can be superb, and private, advisors.
Adapt to change, and change how you adapt to avert extinction.
Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.