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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.

Painter’s World: What You May Not Know About Black Mold

Never believe something cannot harm you just because you can’t see it. Just as a virus or bacteria can cause an infection, Black Mold fungi, offers its own type of threat to your health.

 

Basically, anything which is microscopic and exhibits the definition of being alive supports its own defense mechanism. And that’s against us.

 

Black Mold, or other similar fungi, produces spores which are unseen to the naked eye. During the stages of their metabolism, they produce by-products which are often toxic. These toxins interfere with the normal metabolism and respiration of humans.

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT BLACK MOLD

 

I didn’t know much about Fungi, Black Mold, Myotoxins, etc. until I started looking into it further. The following is a list of three of the most dangerous effects from mold exposure:

 

1. Mold inhalation – Decreased hemoglobin red blood cell concentration, lowered blood gas concentration, anemia, and bronchial and/or sinus inflammation and infection.

 Symptoms: Dizziness, muscle spasms-tremors, headaches, stressed breathing, clamped oxygen supply, runny nose, burning eyes, confusion, and blurred vision.

 

2. Mold Skin Contact AbsorptionAnemia, change in basal respiration rate, lowered blood gas concentration, subcutaneous pustules, lesions, and widespread rash.

Symptoms: Skin irritation, itching, burning, dizziness.

 

3. Long-Term Effects (most important) -Prolonged exposure that often causes an irreversible anemic health condition. Stem cell differentiation development within the bone marrow that’s affected by cases severe mold exposure. Change in the Hemostasis of hemoglobin/red cell relationship is altered.

***Secondary effects – Permanent respiratory illnesses such as chronic and/or acute Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Asthma, and Sinus tract cysts; irritation and/or inflammation of the mucus membranes. Also partial obstruction of the airway. Because of past exposure, susceptibility to allergic reactions from common dust and pollen.

 

HEALTH PREVENTION OF MOLD EXPOSURE

 

1. When cleaning: Wear protective suit, gloves and head covering; also proper respiratory equipment such as a charcoal, organic vapor respirator, or a self-contained, fresh air supply system. Note: Dust mask is totally inadequate.

2. If infestation is invasive: Use garden sprayer with 50/50 bleach-water, or peroxide solution. Spray infected area. Promptly remove yourself from the area until the solution has degraded the mold. Then you may clean and remove by hand what is left. When the removal of mold is completed, rinse entire area with fresh water – either by hand or with a garden sprayer.

3. Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate! In the area where you’re working, always provide adequate ventilation when spraying bleach or similar toxic chemicals. Open windows. And use circulating fans. The cleaning process will be much safer, and go much smoother.

 

IF AND WHEN YOU’RE EXPOSED TO MOLD…

 

1. Seek a clean, fresh air environment as soon as possible. Go outside if necessary.

2. Get help now! Someone needs to assist you and call “Emergency 911” and “Poison Control” – your chief engineer,  security director, member of management, teammate.

3. If you suffer a rash or burn of any kind, use a baking soda/water solution, calamine lotion, or a hygienic glycerol soap to help reduce skin irritation.

4. In severe cases, it may be necessary to get a steroid injection. This depends on whether or not your entire body is affected.

 

IN THE CASE OF MOLD EXPOSURE…

…what you don’t know will hurt you.

 

1. I developed both chronic and acute sinusitis from daily exposure to massive amounts of toxic levels of mold plus the toxic cleaning agents, over a period of six years.

2. On a daily basis, I took the proper precautions. I used the products and safety tools and equipment provided and authorized by the chief engineer, and property management and owners.

3. But the amount of mold was too great, for too long of a time.  According to health and environmental specialists, “a person could not have come out of it without suffering ill effects.”

4. The physicians have said I was fortunate. A strong majority of persons develop Asthma. In addition, a large number are also diagnosed, eventually, with Sinus and Bronchial Cancer, and/or Lung Cancer.

 

WHEN TREATING MOLD…

Whether at home or on the job, take your time. And work safely.

Take care of yourself and the others around you.

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Everyone wants to go home at the end of the day!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Paintshop: Hotel and Facility Painters “Do Other Things”

Hotel and facility painters must be willing – and able – “to do other things.” In fact, it is a requirement listed in most job descriptions. Including the U. S. Department of Labor Directory of Occupations.

 

 Hotel Painter’s Short List of “Other Things to Do”

(Eg. Hotels, resorts, vacation spas, convention centers)

 

  1. Help clear out and clean up critical incident scenes and accident areas.
  2. Decorate property for holidays and special events.
  3. Clean and replace HVAC systems; make minor repairs to room A/C units, repair filters.
  4. Replace acoustical ceiling tiles, panels and grid frames; repair walls; replace doors, trims, baseboards.
  5. Dig, lay and bury underground WI-FI cable systems; replace modem units.
  6. Repair, or remove and replace pipes, plumbing, also lavatory parts; clear clogged drains.
  7. Repair, or remove and replace ceramic, glass, quarry, and other tiles.
  8. Cut out, remove and replace carpet sections and tiles.
  9. Remove and replace bath/shower/tub fixtures, safety bars/rails, etc.
  10. Repair, resurface or replace furniture, cabinetry, countertops; also vanities.
  11. Treat toxic black mold infestations; spray chemical pest control solutions.
  12. Replace light bulbs, lighting and illumination fixtures and systems – interior/exterior.
  13. Repair, or remove and replace door key card systems.
  14. Patch/repair, or remove and replace swimming pool skirt tiles.
  15. Perform landscape work; replace mulch, chips, edgings, stones, etc.
  16. Repair, or replace wood decking, steps, rails, banisters, seating, signage.
  17. Repair, or replace roof tiles, shingles; also building fascia, gutters, downspouts, etc.
  18. Repair, or replace landscaping brick, stone; also walkways.
  19. Pressure wash sidewalks, also exterior corridor areas, walls, fencing, etc.
  20. Help repair, or replace any mechanical systems on property.

 

Facility Painter’s Short List of “Other Things to Do”

(Eg. Hospitals, ALFs; corporate headquarters, government properties, universities, malls.)

 

  1. Replace ceramic floor tiles and trim.
  2. Replace acoustical ceiling tiles, also panels and gridwork.
  3. Repair walls; replace baseboards, trim, doors and frames, etc.
  4. Lubricate door locks and hinges.
  5. Replace air conditioner filters
  6. Repair carpeting and carpet tiles.
  7. Caulk restroom areas.
  8. Repair water damaged ceilings, walls, etc.
  9. Clean glass.
  10. Clean A/C units; make minor repairs to HVAC systems.
  11. Replace light bulbs, fixtures, interior/exterior illumination systems, etc.
  12. Repair, or replace cabinetry, countertops, shelving units, etc.

 

BOTTOM LINE: As a hotel or facility painter, you want to be prepared to step in and resolve either physical or aesthetic problems in any interior or exterior area on the property.

 

Also, you want to feel comfortable using whatever products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment that are needed to get the job done right. Also, promptly and cost-effectively.

 

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Often, persons are judged by the “other things” they do, not only by doing their job as described.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop: Selecting Paint Colors Using Online Chip Catalogs

Shopping for the best paint color for a surface or area is only a CLICK away. Via the internet, you can search any major or specialty paint manufacturer’s website.

 

And, you can access their complete color chip catalog, including each color’s name and product number.

 

Usually, the paint chips will be organized by color family. Also, they will be categorized by certain criteria.

 

  1. Surface – interior or exterior.
  2. Substrate – e.g. wood, masonry. Metal.
  3. Paint sheen/finish – e.g. flat/matte, eggshell , satin, semi-gloss, gloss, high-gloss.
  4. Paint type – e.g. latex, oil-base, acrylic latex, primer/finish duo.
  5. Environment/climate – eg. dry, wet, humid/tropic, cold.
  6. Unique features.
  7. Paint quality – e.g. good, superior, premium, heavy duty.

 

October and November tend to be the ideal time to CLICK on a paint manufacturer’s site for news about the new colors for the next year. Each color and each color combination will be shown in appropriate product-color-surface applications. By room or area.

 

EXAMPLE: Sherwin-Williams “Poised Taupe SW 6039.”

 

  1. Living room setting: The color may be shown on an accent wall.
  2. Dining room: Color may be used on the upper part of a dado wall, or old wooden chairs.
  3. Entertainment room: Color may be applied in alternate vertical stripes on a wall.
  4. Master bedroom suite: Color may be used on a recessed wall or alcove.
  5. House masonry exterior: Color may be used as predominant color, or trim color.

 

For real excitement, try the virtual, or 3-D visualization, capability available on most paint manufacturer’s sites.

 

  1. CLICK on the chip of color you are considering.
  2. CLICK on the type of room or area in which you want to use the color.
  3. See how the color might actually look.
  4. See how your chosen paint color might be combined with other colors for total effect.
  5. See how your color might look in rooms of different styles or with decor – eg. traditional, provincial, contemporary, eclectic.
  6. See how your color might look under different light exposures – eg. full sun, partial sun, partial shade, or full shade room or wall.

 

In my opinion: Nothing beats the visit to the paint store to find the exact color that you need.

 

Still, shopping online first can save a lot of time and money. And, when the color needs to be approved by someone else, a few strategic CLICKS and PRINTs in color can save you a lot  of grief – and repainting – later on.

 

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Chip away at correct color selection by first CLICKing on paint chips.

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Many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: Visiting Old Projects, Old Properties

It can be very interesting, and motivating, to visit hotel, resort and other properties where you’ve completed projects in the past. Or where you were a staff painter.

 

You may look at your previous project work through different eyes. The eyes of more experience. This is particularly true with completed projects. Or, similar projects on which you used better products or more effective methods, and achieved better results than before.

 

Two of my friends from IUPAT days have turned this experience into a “painter’s” destination. They stay as guests at a hotel or resort on which they’ve worked. They reserve a large room for a minimum of a 3-day weekend, to a maximum of ten days.  (Depending on the amount of work they did on the respective property.)

 

Here’s what they look at while staying at each hotel or resort.

 

  1. Current overall color scheme of hotel/resort – predominant colors used and where.
  2. Surfaces/areas repainted or redecorated since they worked on property – including products and colors used.
  3. Surfaces/areas that have not been redone since they worked on them – including products and colors they used.
  4. Special designs, finishes and effects used now, that weren’t used back then. Changes made that painter recommended before, but management turned down.
  5. New designs, products, finishes, colors, etc. used now that are much more appealing and effective than those the painter(s) needed to use when there.
  6. Areas and amenities remodeled or upgraded since they worked on the property – including paint, finishing and wallcovering treatments used.

 

Actually, their destination checklist number over eleven. Also, within twenty-four hours of their arrival at the hotel or resort, they made a point of introducing themselves to the chief engineer, also the general manager of the property.

 

“We keep everything above board. We tell them who we are, and why we’re there. Besides the overnight stay, of course.  We tell them that we are painters, what we do specifically, and when we worked on the property, or as a staff member.”

 

They ask permission to walk around, and look at areas that they worked on. They make notes about problem surfaces and projects back when, and the better ways they would handle them today.

 

The two painters – with 56 years hospitality painting experience between them – have developed their own learning curve. They’ve created and produced DVD tutorials – problem-solution how-tos – to share with other career hotel/resort painters and engineering department teammates.

 

Hats off to Trent and Carlos.

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Learning from our past often requires awareness of our presence.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s View: Keeping Connected After the “Compensated” Connection is Gone

One full year after my grandfather retired from his pastorate, he began to rekindle the closer friendships built, over twenty-five years, with certain people and families in that parish. While still maintaining a separation from them as members of the church family, he moved forward with his personal bond with them.

 

Moving forward…

 

Nearly nine years after his death at age 93, his descendants continue some of those connections with the members’ descendants. We exchange e-mails, letters and phone calls.

 

One of them is a commercial painting contractor. His oldest son is a staff painter on a Marriott property in the Washington, D. C. area. All three of us are experienced painters and decorators. Yet, we seem to be more drawn to each other by our connection through that church parish in southern Indiana.

 

Question: In the business or professional world, is it appropriate to keep connected?

 

Is it acceptable to keep in touch with former coworkers or teammates, supervisors and managers? At all times respecting their prevailing positions as staff members of your previous place of employment?

 

  1. Some companies maintain a policy that, once an employee leaves, he or she is prohibited from any and all contact with anyone there. And, they strictly enforce that rule.

 

  1. Some companies maintain a policy of marginal latitude. They allow current and former employees to keep a limited connection to each other. Trusting that both sides will preserve, respect and honor the employee’s current contractual terms with the employer. Especially in confidentiality areas.

 

  1. Some companies rely on their current employees to use sound judgment, fairness and cordiality when dealing with their former coworkers. And, they trust them to set suitable, reasonable terms in sustaining those relationships.

 

  1. A handful of companies, by comparison, actually promote qualitative, mutually beneficial connections between and among current and former employees. The view of leaders and enterprises is:

 

“What’s good for their people can be very good for the business.”

 

Within which policy framework do you, as a former coworker, do you function?  Within which framework do you, as a current coworker, function?

 

Question: How does it strengthen your ability to be a top quality worker? And, a fulfilled, well-rounded human being?

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

PAINTSHOP: “You Have Just Been Awarded $5,000…”

You’ve been awarded $5,000 to spend on any painting projects of your choice. Where to start? How to decide? So many areas need work.

 

1. On what projects will that $5,000 reach the furthest? And, do the most good?

 

2. Is it really your decision to make? Or, are some members of management standing nearby hoping that you will select projects/areas that they want done, now that you – paintshop – have the budget to do them?

 

3. Do you need to make a list of your top five choices? Then get approval from management?

 

4. What kind of time frame are you looking at for spending down that money? Can you spread it out? Can you reserve some of it for a project later?

 

5. In that available time frame, which projects can be taken care of with minimal down time related to guest and staff ability to use the space or area.

 

These little tips may get your juices flowing now. Before that possible miracle gift falls in your lap.

 

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Every hotel or facility painter deserves some dream money for the paintshop.

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Thank you for checking in with “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik.  All rights reserved.

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