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Posts tagged ‘IUPAT’

Painter’s World: Preventing Painter Accidents

In most situations, painter accidents can be prevented, or at least minimized. The responsibility rests on everyone’s shoulders: property owner/management, contractor(s) and painters, as well as other workers on the site and product/materials/equipment delivery outfits.

 

A CHECKLIST OF ACCIDENT PREVENTION PRACTICES

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Have experience in the proper use of products/materials, supplies, tools and equipment needed to complete the job.
  3. Pay attention to the details – eg. health and safety policies and practices.
  4. Keep up-to-date with your compliance certifications: OSHA, ADA, HAZMAT, HVLP, UBC.
  5. Carry a valid state-issued Class C commercial driver’s license, and Have no infractions within the last three-to-five years.
  6. Maintain certifications required in your specialty areas. Examples: highways/airfields; marine; planes; train cars; automotive; aerial; underground tanks/containers; above-ground tanks/containers; chemicals.
  7. Upgrade your skill-level certifications for working on your specific types of substrates, and using required products and materials. Note: Skills’ levels must be tested regularly.
  8. Keep up-to-date on your employer’s property and liability insurer requirements re: training.
  9. Keep up-to-date on new government standards and regulations and amendments and health and safety codes, AND required additional training and certifications.
  10. Retake advanced training to upgrade your journey-level certifications. Note: This is a requirement with a growing number for members of construction trades and union organizations.
  11. Participate in manufacturer’s product/coatings and related tool and equipment handling workshops, demonstrations, webinars, etc.

 

Following these practices may cause some inconvenience, and an outlay of cash, at the time. However, the risk of unpreparedness can be costly, and dangerous.

Bottom Line: There are no acceptable reasons for preventable accidents and injuries, damages, and fatalities to happen. None at all.

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Painters, as a group, can contribute much to workplace safety and health.

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Copyright June 13, 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s View: Painter Apprentices at Work

Most painter apprentices start out by doing grunt work – in the paintshop, and on site.

 

THINGS A PAINTER APPRENTICE MAY HAVE TO DO

 

  1. Basic surface preparation: sanding, washing, caulking, puttying, degreasing, masking, dusting, patching walls/ceilings, scraping off loose paint.
  2. Studying job site blueprints and specifications for scheduled paint/finishing product.
  3. Learning to prepare various surfaces for specific types of coatings and finishing products.
  4. Driving company supply/equipment truck to and from job sites.
  5. Loading and unloading paint products and equipment.
  6. Picking up, delivering and packing up, storing supplies, tools, work tables, etc. used by the journey painters.
  7. Moving or removing furniture, large fixtures, area rugs, etc.
  8. Spreading out dropcloths; covering furniture, fixtures, built-ins, flooring, that can’t be removed.
  9. Organizing and setting up, then taking down work areas.
  10. Removing, then replacing fixtures, electric outlet covers, window shades/blinds/treatments.
  11. Mixing and pouring paint, filling paint pots and trays.
  12. Setting up masking/tape dispensers and machines, and other supplies, tools, equipment.
  13. Opening, unwrapping, unrolling boxes of plastic sheeting, masking/film papers, wallcoverings.
  14. Holding or stabilizing ladders, scaffolding sections, planking systems.
  15. Assisting journey painters.
  16. Stripping wood and metal surfaces.
  17. Repairing metal with polyester patch.
  18. Rough sanding and scraping of chipped, alligatored and worn paint and finishes.
  19. Basic drywall finishing and sanding; also prepping if that job was left to painters.
  20. Applying prime and finish paint products, when all other work is caught up.
  21. Stacking wood moldings, trims, frames, etc.
  22. Moving doors, framing; shutters, thresholds, railings, etc.
  23. Removing masking and taping materials, dropcloths, sheeting, etc.
  24. Cleaning all overspray from unpainted surfaces.
  25. Folding up dropcloths, sheeting, etc.; loading them onto supply truck..
  26. Cleaning up, picking up, sweeping, and clearing out work areas at end of each day.
  27. Soaking, cleaning and restoring paintbrushes, roller covers and frames; extension rods, etc.
  28. Flushing or washing out paint spray systems: spray guns, spray pots, hoses, compressors.
  29. Cleaning out buckets, paint trays, filters, racks, soaking carriers.
  30. Properly closing and sealing all product containers, boxes, tubes, wrappings, crates, etc.
  31. Disposing all chemical and hazardous products and supplies according to EPA, HazMat, and manufacturer instructions.
  32. Keeping paintshop storage and work areas organized, picked up, cleaned up, cleared out.

 

Actually, the list is endless. Too, it can be extended at any time, and by different persons, too.

 

Working as a painter apprentice can seem like a very dead-end and thankless job. And, most apprentices can’t wait to get handed that first paintbrush and a gallon of paint, and be ordered to paint a surface.

 

However, the smart apprentices will take advantage of every minute that they must spend doing that grunt work. They will literally see what it takes to run a job. Every physical aspect of it.

 

And, they will UP their learning curve every day that they’re on the job. From check-in time till check-out. (Actually, off the job, too.) Observing more. Listening more. Seeing more. Smelling more. Touching more. Learning more. Soaking in all that they can. Like a top grade Greek sea sponge.

 

SPECIAL BONUSES THAT PAINTER APPRENTICES MAY GET

 

Many painter apprentices have the opportunity to go onto different job sites. They are able to meet many people: experienced craftspersons and bosses in various construction trades. They get to be around architects, engineers and designers (in various fields); suppliers and manufacturers’ representatives; government inspectors; customers and clients; even investors.

 

Starting at the bottom in the painting trade offers so many long-term benefits. It offers invaluable preparation work for building a successful career as a journey painter, a finishing/detail painter and decorator, a contractor, a consultant, a trainer/instructor, an construction industry expert, an U.S. government expert in construction and building, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, etc.

 

I’ve met over a dozen painters that have ended up building successful careers as product designers or inventors; others as product/materials testers and analysts. Even as speakers and authors.

 

Where grunt work can take the painter apprentice is really up to him or her. Where it leads some day may be to a quality of life, and a way of life, that he or she could have never imagined when first signing up with IUPAT, a technical school, and/or painter apprenticeship programs.

 

The door is wide open.

 

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There’s honor in beginning at the bottom. There’s honor at the top,

especially if you respect others who are just beginning. RDH

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Have a safe, rewarding week. And thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Jesse the Painter: The Pride of the United States and Mexico

Jesse V. came to the United States from Mexico to give his small family a better life. Initially, they settled in Miami, where a group of relatives had immigrated and, eventually, earned U. S. citizenship.

 

There, he worked as a painter, while Maria, his wife, stayed home to care for their toddler Doreen.

 

Jesse worked hard, accepting any job and toiling long hours, to make ends meet. He’d learned the painting trade back in Mexico City. /Where both he and Maria left behind their loved ones.

 

As soon as they arrived in the United States, Jesse and Maria applied for citizenship. The Miami relatives served as sponsors, tutored them in the English language, and helped them meet the other requirements. Just as promptly, they registered as legal residents of Florida.

 

Shortly after being granted U.S. citizenship, Jesse was given an industrial painting opportunity in the Chicago-Northwest Indiana area. He joined the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades (IBPAT). The job offered a much higher hourly wage, pension and family health benefits, and both job security and safety.

 

Jesse and Maria fit right into the area. They found a church that offered a Sunday mass in Spanish. The Hispanic population was starting to grow. So, they were able to form a few friendships with families, from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South America. Always at the core of everything was Jesse’s love for his wife and children – and their devout Catholic faith. He talked a lot about his wife and children.

 

Eventually, they had three more children: a son and two daughters. Proudly, Jesse and Maria reared them to be good Americans, and good people. Yes, all of them knew Spanish and fluently communicated with family back in Mexico. Their home in Northwest Indiana was decorated with momentos that showed their great pride in Mexico their native land. Also, there were treasures everywhere that showed their great pride in the United States of America, their chosen home.

 

My father and Jesse worked together on a frequent basis. As the company’s superintendent, Dad often pointed out Jesse’s admirable attributes, strong work ethic and undaunting professionalism.

 

On the job, what Jesse lacked in height, he made up for in experience, skill, energy, and drive. He was motivated, and always jumped in, “a real self starter.” He had a happy personality, and smiled most of the time. He had a friendly, helpful and willing spirit.

 

At different periods of time, Jesse and I worked for the same contractor. Whether he was working on a commercial or industrial project, he gave it his 150 percent. He was consistently professional, punctual, loyal, and neat. He never complained about a thing. He worked beside other painters as a true member of that crew, or team, assembled to work on that project. He worked beside other tradespersons, and bent over backwards to make their jobs go smoothly.

 

He was interested in what others had to say, and he defended others to the limit. Yet, he had difficulty standing up for himself when someone talked about him. And, he had a stubborn streak, and did not like to be corrected.

 

The biggest joke about Jesse on the job revolved around the large thermos of fresh fruit juice – eg. cantaloupe – that he carried to work every day. Also, he always offered to shae the hot Mexican food packed in his lunch by Maria. Tamales, tortillas, tacos, enchiladas, etc.

 

One Thanksgiving Day, he and his family came to our country home for dinner. They brought along six home-baked cream cheese pies: 2 plain, 2 cherry, and 2 cinnamon. For 10 people. During the meal, I realized how Maria struggled to participate in the table conversation. After living in the U. S over twenty years, her English-speaking skills were limited. Yet, her immense pride in her family being American citizens radiated from her eyes. Sang from her voice. And, captivated you through her loving smile.

 

The saddest day in Jesse’s life in America came in the mid-1980s. His beloved wife, Maria, suffered a severe brain aneurysm. Within a few days, he had to decide for the hospital physicians to pull her off the life support machines. At his request, our family sat in the nearby ICU waiting room. Keeping his children company while their dad kept vigil at their mother’s bedside. And, reassuring Jesse and the children as the time drew near to let her die in peace.

 

I’ll never forget those last moments with Jesse and his children, proud Americans and proud Mexicans.

 

Jesse was different after he and his children buried Maria. Who wouldn’t be? He took off work to go home to Mexico City, where he visited with his brother, a physician who achieved great tv media recognition during recovery efforts after the massive earthquake in 1985. While in his native land, he also spent a lot of time with Maria’s family.

 

When he returned, eventually, to the job, he wasn’t the same. Yes, his workmanship and craftsmanship were still first rate. But, his soul was missing.

 

He and my dad became close. I became close with Jesse’s son-in-law, a coworker of ours.

 

From time to time, Jesse would simply be gone from work. Back to Mexico for one to two months at a time.

 

When my dad died suddenly in 1993, Jesse came by. He sat in our living room, and cried. He told me all about his pal, Bob. And, he told me all about the kind of friendship he and my father shared. I didn’t have a clue.

 

The last time that I saw Jesse. He stopped by to say “hello” and “so long” during our huge estate and moving sale in May of 1993. Like at work, he picked at me a little. “Bob, when are you going to get a girlfriend. You’re a good guy.” For some reason, his joking didn’t bother me at all. I saw how deep and genuine his vein of caring ran for his friend Bob – and Bob’s son.

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting With Bob.”

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

 

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