Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

At a project located in a busy town square, a worker was applying paint to the exterior of a new building. The scaffolding was 3 ½ stories tall.  He climbed from the 2nd level to the 3rd by holding on to the frames and X braces from the scaffolding’s outer side (away from the building). The move was uneventful. There were several other associates on site and paint application was underway on both levels. The work continued.

Is this a case of no harm, no fowl? Or was the climb a safety risk? Some may note that climbing on the outer side is not a best practice, but vertical movement on frames or braces is a no go…period. The scaffolding included a stair with railings for up or down access. There are two main issues that jump out from the climb:

  1. The worker was not trained
  2. The other associates did not notice anything wrong or provide coaching to their colleague

If the company had a safety culture, it is likely that there would have been some preventive shouting or an urgent talk after the climb. The idea of a three story fall to an area strewn with construction debris, or maybe worse, being impaled from landing on the site containment fence is ugly. Safety and craft training must be part of the work day and may be as simple as casual reminders or the occasional thank you for operating safely.

We have an article, The Psychology of Safety, which acknowledges the challenge of getting associates to “think” differently in order to change the way some tasks are performed. The read makes a good point that safety rules/regulations are objective and individuals should not rationalize ways to avoid working safe.

Another challenge for small and large companies alike is holding down the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. Most everyone knows a story (or several) involving abuse. One employee did the ole sliparoo, while walking on a project site and put a claim in for a lower back injury. Six months into physical therapy without improvement and after an examination from the insurance company’s doctor, which noted that there was no “remarkable” injury, a private detective was assigned.

The employee was summoned to court for fraud after the detective submitted films from two days; one day the individual was seen working alone; carrying and installing 6’ wooden fence sections. The second day the employee was filmed jogging, which was unusual since the injury declaration stated the pain was so severe a cane was needed to walk.

For many professionals, insurance in general may be categorized alongside regulations and taxes…needle in the eye stuff. We feature an article that shares some worthwhile insight (excellent bullet points); Paying the Price of Workers’ Compensation Fraud. It seems that no matter the industry or company, there are always a few rotten apples wrecking it for the good ones. Rather than become hardened or negative about associates and insurance providers, get proactive. It is a best practice to share insurance discount goals and their benefits for associates (reward/bonus programs) during company meetings and one on ones.

In the News, it looks like PPG is all in on the NHL. Already the global company has naming rights to local hockey stadium; PPG Paints Arena. In addition, PPG is an official sponsor of the NHL. Apparently, there is a relatively new effort in a faraway place not exactly known for rink rats; PPG has signed on to sponsor the NHL China Games.

Sherwin-Williams has another application, the SW Pro Industrial app. The paint giant has produced a short series of videos on product selection. We feature one about Paint for Handrails. Bob Siegrist, the SW Pro Industrial Product Manager, provides the guidance for different options from SW’s complete and enormous quiver of high performance coatings.

Although most paint and application professionals do not apply spray foam insulation, we are featuring a product innovation from Titan. It is the ProPurge Low Pressure Spray Foam Gun, which we think is cool. Plus, using the new gun, a professional sprayer should be able to lay-on the spray insulation with the ease of eating chocolate frosted cupcakes.

Also, some day in the future, there may be a spray applied product that meets a two hour fire stop rating (not the hopper applied structural steel thermal spray – think Ikea exposed ceilings, but a coating for filling through wall penetration gaps).

Sometimes simple things may be successful. In case you are not in the know, there is a business model based on the service of fixing gypsum/plaster walls. It is a franchise operation called PatchMaster that specializes in fixing holes caused by renters, plumbing leaks and DIY projects. Headquartered in Somerville, New Jersey, PatchMaster operates under the HosuseMaster brand, which is owned by Master Home Services.

In science department News, get ready to flex your nerd antenna, we feature an item where a new discovery enhances a coating application process that has been little changed for thousands of years. Check out New material improves ancient gilding technique to learn how researchers have unveiled a way to renew ancient art.

According to our friends at NAHB, a recent study shows how regulatory costs account for 32 percent of the cost of developing new multifamily properties. Layers of excessive regulation translate into higher rents and reduced affordability for consumers. In recent testimony, Steve Lawson, chairman of The Lawson Companies representing NAHB stated, “It results from local, state and federal mandates (combined)”.

Mr. Lawson further noted, “It includes the cost of applying for zoning and subdivision approval, environmental mitigation, and permit, hook-up, impact and other government fees paid by the builder. In many cases, these projects become financially infeasible and, therefore, are not built.”

The message to regulators, the unelected, bureaucrats should be loud, constant and clear: “you’re killing us Holmes”. Many of today’s Washington based rules have grown out of control and the over burdensome, unwelcome ivy-like plant invaders need to be cut. Regulatory reform is needed and should start with shrinking most federal agencies budgets and employee/outsource worker counts by one third.

Please remember what the guy with pointed ears from Star Trek said when talking to an unassuming paint professional, “be happy at work, access and perform safely to live a long and prosperous life”.

Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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