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 Post subject: Use of oil based paints
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:45 pm 
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I work in a care home as a handy man and i was wondering if there was any legislation relating to using oil based paints in that environment. There's the obvious fumes and smell issue but the my boss still has us using the old gloss paints for the woodwork so I'm just trying to get away from these types of paint if anyone knows of any rules about this. there are plenty of alternatives on the market that are just better all round for smell,ease of use and cleaning up afterwards.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:39 am 
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Someone else (not him) may have a precise answer. But there are two - three things worth mentioning.

a. You are going down a very difficult route, and if you find some kind or legislation and slap it on your boss, you may be the one who brings bad news and you know what happens to the messenger.

b. you wrote "there are plenty of alternatives on the market that are just better all round for smell,ease of use and cleaning up afterwards."
I guess you are talking interior painting. The only thing that is relevant to the well being of the residents is the smell (and in effect the chemicals they will be breathing). If your boss does not get this you have an uphill struggle, and you may need medical support for the case than legislation. The ease of use, cleaning up etc. are more for your convenience than anything else. You can also add very long drying times.

c. Legislation is unlikely to be detailed enough to prescribe what paints may or may not be used (although it does for fire prevention). Legislation tends to be vague enough to cover many things (as are the Health and Safety bits quoted below). You made me have a quick glance at health and safety stuff (I claim no specialism)
Health and safety in care homes Free download in PDF format. Here are some paragraphs I picked just by searching for words:
Quote:
7.2 Falls may occur when your employees (see paragraphs 7.10 to 7.12) or contractors carry out a number of maintenance activities, including window and gutter cleaning, minor roof repairs, and internal decorating. You should have
effective arrangements in place to assess and manage the risks. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 referred to in this chapter only apply to employees, but standards applied will help to reduce risks to residents as well.


Quote:
13.24 Workplaces need to be adequately ventilated with fresh, clean air. However, you should provide an environment that is comfortable and suitable for their residents as well as staff. Windows or other openings may provide sufficient ventilation, but the risks of residents falling must also be considered, as explained in Chapter 7.

13.25 Where fumes or hot equipment may be present, such as in the laundry or kitchen, more fresh air is likely to be needed to remove fumes and control humidity and temperature. Where necessary, additional ventilation systems should be provided and regularly maintained.

The above paragraphs provide a link to www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/harmful/ventilation.htm

At this link you will find info. on what you need to do to protect yourself when using such paints, good ventilation as a minimum http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/faq-paint.htm

Finally some info on what to do when using harmful solvents http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/hazardous-substances/solvents.htm.

Don't slap all/any of my links to your boss. All the links above point to ventilation and risk assessment. It is your boss(es) that should be doing the risk assessment but if they don't then such is life. Concentrate on the well being of the residents, all of them elderly and probably rather frail so they are in a care home. It is the smell that you need to keep at, if they can smell the paint it means the solvents are reaching them. Then of course you must open all the windows possible for as long as possible ... with the consequence of lowering of temperature and creating possible drafts.

Do not argue about the paints you want to use that they are modern, easy to use (really?) and you will finish the job quicker and spend less time cleaning etc. Your boss might think your time is best spent doing as you are told and using paints that provide a better finish and are more durable. See if some painting comes up in a communal area where you cannot keep the residents out for as many hours/days and maybe ask to run an experiment with different paints.

The argument for not using solvent born paints in an old people's home is easy but it needs a medic or similar scientist to give it the push. That the solvents (organic volatile compounds), despite their reduction since 2010, may harm unnecessarily/disproportionately older frail people. If your boss does not get that ...

Sorry I have not had a nice concise answer :-(



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:38 am 
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Good post there :withstupid:

At the risk of sounding obvious, but I wonder if it may be more productive simply to discuss this issue with your boss in a conversational manner, leaving aside the legal/legislation stuff. For one thing, it may put you across as a rule-quoting trade-unionist, and the appeal to common sense and resident well-being is a far better platform from which to effect a change in practice.

I'd leave any rules for Round 2 if the above didn't bear fruit. :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Thanks Dynamod. You had a concise answer.



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Thanks for the answers, I think I will just have a chat about it with the manager. I was just looking for a bit of ammunition to help me out. it is indoors I was talking about like residents bedrooms and corridors. Its not just the smell, its the drying time too as the residents and staff always manage to get gloss paint on them after Ive been glossing. Anyway I'll bring it up next time we have a staff meeting.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:01 pm 
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Smell = solvents in the air. Do they allow smoking in the home ... just sayin...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:35 pm 
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No there is no smoking on the premises at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:35 pm 
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What I meant is if they do not allow smoking they should not allow solvents.

Discuss gently with your boss but do not start mentioning Health and Safety, laws, rules etc. For example, say "we do not allow smoking, I wonder if the use of solvent based paints is safe, .... Sometimes residents and staff touch wet paint and they get marked ... Can we try water based paint next time ...."

Remember though, that you are likely to need a good primer to go over the old oil based paint + whatever follows. So you will not be any quicker ... and you may have to explain this will happen the first time you paint over the old paint.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Water based is definitely the correct route to be going down in that particular situation. No nasty smells hanging around for days, and dries very quickly so less chance of people sticking to it.

Much depends on how tight the budget is though.

Oil based is one undercoat and one gloss, but when changing to waterbased there is some thorough prep followed by an an undercoat and two coats of gloss.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:07 pm 
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I dont think there is specific info about oil based paint as such like there is for certain colours to assist visually impaired people under the Equality Act but your employer, the owner still has a duty of care to you as well as the residents, and if he or she were proven negligent they could be liable for prosecution

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