YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO BE UNSAFE
How much painting do you need to sell to pay a $5,000 or
$10,000 fine? In the 12 months between October 2012 and Sep-
tember 2013, OSHA slapped more than $850,000 in fines on
painting contractors, 56 percent for lack of fall protection and 26
percent for unsafe lead practices.
The full list is at FCS 2388320 (https://www.osha.gov/
Top_Ten_Standards.html), where you'll see that painters show
up in five of 10 categories on OSHA's 2013 Top 10 most cited
violations. When compared with a list specific to residential con-
struction, painters are again prominent in five of 10 citation cat-
Those fines mean workers were seriously injured or died
from unsafe practices on the job. If that doesn't get your
attention, consider how your insurance rates will skyrocket
after you are cited. Enrolling in safety training and changing
dangerous behaviors on the job are two ways to lower those
costs, along with your workers' compensation payments.
During a discussion on workplace safety in one of my recent
classes, a student shouted out, "Who has the time to work like
this?" He was wearing a cast from his foot to his knee that was
required after a ladder fall. I couldn't help but ask how much
income he was losing in that cast.
We all know the expense and time it requires to replace a work-
er on a crew. It's much more cost-efficient to invest in the produc-
tion team you have. A solid record of safety and training will also
encourage more professional employees to work for you.
AMERICAN PAINTING CONTRACTOR • July 2014 29
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OSHA Training Institute, Southwest Education Center
No guard rails, very unsafe scaffolding. Lifting bucket
overhead and bending to lift heavy buckets can result
in injuries. Use mechanical lifting device or reduce
quantity of mix in bucket.