etter safe than sorry, they say. After doing
the same thing for so long with no problem or
injury, lot of folks can be lulled into compla-
cency. You’ve been doing something for years
and haven’t hurt yourself yet, so why worry about
anything so stupid as safety? It only has to happen
once for your life to change.
While a lot of safety is in is wearing the right gear,
there’s more to it than that. Nearly every product
or prodecure has some practices that will help you
get through the day
unscathed. While it
may add a few min-
utes to the job, you’ll
be happy and healthy for the next project.
Safety Month wasn’t too long ago, so a lot of dif-
ferent agencies sent us tips on how to make sure that
what goes up…well you know the rest. And who is
more concerned for your safety than an insurance
company? The less it pays out, the happier they are.
Zurich North America, a global insurance firm with
American quarters in Schaumberg, IL, shared the
sobering news that that more than 80,000 construc-
tion workers suffer an injury on job sites each year
across the United States. Many times painters face
the same challenges as far as painting and working in
high and hard to reach places. It’s easy sometimes to
rig up some structure to get there—but think before
you walk that plank!
“Life is far too valuable not to make safety the top
priority on job sites,” said Eric Lambert, national
customer solutions director at Zurich North America.
“Any single incident is one too many. It’s impor-
tant for all of us in the industry to take the time
to collectively raise the awareness of construc-
Whether you’re a company of one or five
hundred and one, Zurich recommends
following these six safety tips to help
1) Assess site hazards to deter-
mine the appropriate equipment
needed for a job.
2) I nvest i n
ensuring it’s used
3) Inspect and
remove any fall exposures while securing materials
so they don’t fall.
4) Train employees on fall protection and equipment
inspection, having accountability in place for ignoring
5) Document safety-training activities and non-
compliance with protocols.
6) Before starting work, discuss the day’s tasks,
required tools and potential hazards.
“Falls from heights are a major concern on con-
struction sites, ranking as the leading cause of death
in the industry,” said Scott Rasor, head of construc-
tion at Zurich North America. “More than 200 U.S.
construction workers are killed each year from falls.
Taking some time to bring safety front and center is
important for our industry.”
Feel free to call this company for more information,
or to talk about insurance. zurich.com
Seeing is Believing
Sometimes dealing with the fallout first hand can
change your mind about the importance of safety pro-
cedures. Yvette Rubenzer is director of marketing at
Gardner-Gibson, APOC and Sun Paints & Coatings;
she relayed some experience with accident victims in
a previous position. Trite-sounding or not, life can
change in an instant. It’s not trite when it’s your life
or the life of someone you love. Or your boss’s life, love
him or not, and you’re looking for work. Everyone
needs to be careful. When you have an accident, she
pointed out, it can affect more people than just you.
“I oversaw development of a safety video that incor-
porated interviews with cowork-
ers either directly involved in
or affected by on the job acci-
dents,” she said. “One involved
a coworker recounting how his
family’s life changed when he was
a teenager because his father fell
off of a platform on the job. The
platform wasn’t that high, but he
fell at just the right angle to became
completely disabled, including loss
of significant brain function. Dad
needed around the clock care.
No more play-
by Jerry Rabushka, Editor
Job safety matters, all day long
fishing. Everything changed.”
We know that being safe doesn’t always mesh
with being comfortable, and that can lead people to
take risks. “Another worker sought
comfort over safety by shortening
the sleeves on his fire retardant
uniform,” she recalled. “An errant
splash of the chemicals he worked
with left him with significant burns
between the tops of his gloves and
the bottom of his sleeves
“I’m not suggesting we need to
only take concrete coating jobs that
allow us to stay flat on the ground,
and wear a hazmat suite from head
to toe,” she continued. “Just make
sure to read manufacturer warnings
regarding safety precautions and
use recommended safety equipment.
Be cognizant of the things around
the workspace and avoid hazards
or make adjustments as needed
to stay safe. You, your family and
your friends will be glad you did.”
An Easy Fix
Fortunately most accidents on
the job aren’t fatal or horrifying,
but they can still slow you up. The
unkindest cut of all, as Shakespeare
put it, is often purely accidental. The
blade goes into your hand instead of
the wood, you run your hand over
some splinter or shard, you cut your
lip on the soda can. It’s pretty darn
distracting trying to keep the red out
of the blue paint.
“Whether from pounding a nail,
drilling, sanding, or cutting wire,
minor cuts and scrapes, and even
more serious wounds like a gash,
are expected. And if you're on site,
full medical care may not be readily
accessible—which is why everyone
needs to have something on-hand
that can stop bleeding fast and
protect the wound,” say the folks
from Life Science Plus, a company
devoted to innovative wound care.
Out of the operating room and onto your job site
comes BloodSTOP, which can help you stop bleeding
and get back to painting. Initially developed
for use by surgeons in the operating room,
BloodSTOP is available for sale nationwide
and is proven to stop bleeding faster and
promote healing much better than a ban-
dage, says the company. It comes in a small
band-aid sized box. It can’t hurt to have it on
the job, because you never know when you’ll
need it...most folks don’t go to work and plan
to get cut.
When applied to a wound, it
quickly absorbs blood and other
body fluids and transforms into a gel
to seal the wound with a protective
transparent layer. The gel creates a
coagulation tower over the wound
that stops bleeding and creates ideal
conditions for wound healing.
It’s easy to use!
1. Apply to a wound.
2. Add a few drops of water to
help it adhere to the skin (water
will cause gel formation which stops
3. Cover with a bandage to help
retain moisture (moisture aids the
healing process to prevent scarring).
It’s also easy to find! Get it online,
at most drug stores or at upscale
shopping locations such as Walmart.
Power tools can add to your
strength—in other words, help you
do your job faster. But anything
that moves a lot faster than you
do has some potential for dam-
age. Mirka is a manufacturer of a
dust-free sanding system that will
help you sand faster and cleaner—a
lot faster, and a lot cleaner. Mike
Gulley, the company’s product man-
ager, gave us some tips on using
power tools safely.
“Any power tool can be danger-
ous if both general and tool specific
safety instructions are not followed
carefully.” he said. “These general
safety instructions apply to all power
tools. Hazards involved in the use
of power tools can be prevented by
following some basic safety rules:
• Keep all tools in good condition
with regular maintenance.
Abatron, Inc., Kenosha, WI U.S.A. 800-445-1754
Avoid costly replacement
Restore original details
which enhance property
Use on windows, doors,
siding, columns, railings,
decks, logs, and so
Return buildings to pristine condition with
A deep penetrating
epoxy wood consolidant
that restores structural
strength and integrity
to wood fibers.
structural epoxy paste
that fills and rebuilds
BloodStop absorbs, as
in the demonstration
A. (Responses provided
by Jason Lunn and Becky
Schumann of 3M Safety
Technical Service.) We no
longer limit our focus to
“on the job” safety since
we now understand that
unhealthy and/or risky
behaviors outside of work
also contribute to the
individual’s total health.
For example, painters on
a jobsite can be work-
ing with noise all around
them, but not be required
to wear hearing protection because it’s considered
“nuisance level noise”, which is defined as noise levels
below the regulatory limit. Nuisance noise has still
been shown to cause elevated blood pressure, irritabil-
ity, and increased levels of the stress hormone—all
negatively affecting the health of those painters.
Another example is the VOC (volatile organic
compound) composition of common paint products.
The VOCs are the sweet smelling organic solvents
that give paint its recognizable odor and, while they
may not be present in hazardous concentrations,
they can be very irri-
tating to workers and
can lead to headaches,
dizziness, and disori-
affecting the painter’s
health. Research has
shown that unhealthy
workers engage in more
risky behaviors and
experience more inju-
ries. Many workplaces
now have wellness
programs, at least in
part to address the fact
that stressed out, fatigued, unhappy workers are
less productive, less engaged, and more likely to be
injured on the job.
Also, the use of personal protective equipment
(PPE) in the workplace as well as at home has become
more commonplace. People are more aware and more
educated on safety than they were in the past. This
movement towards wearing PPE not only on the
jobsite, but also for DIY projects at home is similar to
the increased usage of seatbelts and bike helmets over
the years. As people become more aware and educated,
retail for about
Placing this attractive
display near check out
could be one of the
in your store.
Everyone needs a
Grip & remove
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IN THE U.S.A.
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THE MESS-FREE SOLUTION
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THE MESS-FREE SOLUTION TO
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Patent Pending - Patent US D511,600 S
Make sure to read all the instructions on paint and equip-
ment so you can don the proper safety gear. (3M photo)
Working Safely at Height
Contributed by Corey Raymo, Global Category Director, Boom Lifts, JLG Industries, Inc.
Aerial work platforms (AWPs) provide painters with access to areas that might otherwise
be difficult to reach. But their effectiveness is only as good as the training operators receive
in their safe operation. OSHA requires that qualified experts train users of AWPs to help
them recognize and handle hazards, including electrical dangers, falls, and falling objects.
Before you climbs into a lift, you should inspect the jobsite and identify potential
hazards. This means looking for holes, bumps and drop-offs, slippery surfaces, and obstructions, as well as
any obstructions that could impede movement of the lift, on the ground or in the air. Be especially cautious of
high-voltage power lines and maintain safe approach distances (MSAD) from them as specified in the operator’s
manual. Check the ground slope to be sure it meets the manufacturer’s slope limits.
A pre-operation inspection should follow to determine if the lift is mechani-
cally safe. In addition to checking operating and emergency controls, safety
devices such as outriggers and guardrails, and personal protective equipment,
be sure to:
• Check levels of engine oil, hydraulic oil, and anti-freeze.
• Check the battery for corrosion, dirt, and charge.
• Check bearings and bushings for proper lubrication.
• Check boom cables for proper tension.
• Check steering mechanism for wear in washers and related components.
• Check wear pads for signs of wear, and be certain bolts holding them are
not cutting into the boom.
• Review the machine for safety decals and placards to make sure all relevant
information is available to the operator.
• Consult the Operations and Safety manual for your specific lift to ensure
that you know and follow all of its unique requirements.
A function test is also important to ensure the lift functions safely and to
detect any malfunctions that would prevent the machine from being put into
service. Finally, make sure the machine has been regularly inspected.
Regardless of the lift you choose, make the following steps part of your safe
operating practices to ensure operator safety as well as the safety of those
working on the ground:
• Do not exceed the unit’s lift capacity. Include the weight of all materials and tools as part of the load.
• Be sure all ground conditions can support the machine. Do not operate the lift while on trucks, trailers,
scaffolds, or other equipment.
• Do not drive the lift into holes.
• Do not operate the lift on a slope that exceeds the manufacturer’s slope limit.
• Beware of wind. Do not elevate the lift in windy conditions.
• Never operate the lift in areas with overhead power lines, overhead or underground cables, or other power
sources without first contacting the appropriate power/utility companies to ensure the lines are de-energized.
• Always ensure tools are properly stowed and never
left hanging by cords from the platform.
• Before operating the lift, securely fasten all railings
• Keep both feet firmly planted on the platform
floor. Do not use ladders, boxes, or steps to gain
• During operation, keep all body parts inside the
• Make sure personnel do not walk, work, or stand
under a raised platform.
• Do not use the lift for purposes for which it is not