LMCI Committee on Substance Use Disorder and Suicide Prevention Meets in Boston

This week, members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, IUPAT contractors and representatives of the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI met in Boston to continue the work established by the committee on Substance Use Disorder and Suicide Prevention at the 2017 Finishing Industries Forum last December.

Construction workers are unfortunately among those who suffer the most from these conditions and the IUPAT and LMCI are committed to offering resources to help our members and their families.  There’s more work to be done but progress continues to be made.  Check back for updates on when these resources will be available for all.

Great Month for IUPAT in Texas

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades is aligning all efforts to grow our union in the Lone Star State, and May was good month for our training programs.

First, the IUPAT District Council 88 Training Center opened its expanded facilities in Houston to great fanfare.  With a focus on industrial painting training to meet the workforce needs in the area, IUPAT international leaders gathered with local members to celebrate the new facilities.

However, the festivities didn’t stop the training and the work at hand to grow the IUPAT.

DC 88/LU 1778 glaziers in Houston, Texas with Spring Glass on the in the final stages of the completion of the $154 million Grand Oaks High School. The school, which expects to enroll over 3,000 students, has a design that replicates higher education facilities throughout the world. Pictured from L to R are: Joel Suarez, DC 88 Representative Cody Colinger, Israel Pankow, Ray Gutierrez,Terry Parish, Jonathan Sanders, Rudy Ortiz & George Rodriguez.


BONUS: First LMCI Estimating Essentials class for District Council 88 where our instructor teaching some of the skills required to successfully bid on projects.

Skin Cancer: A Hazard for Construction Workers

Members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades face different hazards on the job, but one they may not think about is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Repeated exposure to UV radiation can permanently damage skin and cause skin cancer. Since many IUPAT members spend all or a portion of their day working outside, you should take steps to protect your skin before you start work.

Cases of skin cancer are on the rise and it is now the most common type of cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma – the deadliest. Millions of cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma and thousands of cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year. It is estimated that this year, there will be more than 90,000 new cases of melanoma in the U.S. and 9,000 deaths.[1] Construction workers will account for many of these cases.[2]  While more women develop melanoma than men before age 50, by age 65 the risk for men increases.  Rates in men over 65 are double those of women, and by age 80 they are triple.1   Melanoma doesn’t just affect middle-aged and older people. It is now one of the most common forms of cancer in people younger than 30.[3] While melanoma is the deadliest, all types of skin cancer are serious and can lead to lasting, sometimes disfiguring scars.

A common misconception about skin cancer is that people with darker skin tones are not at risk. Although they may have a lower risk than people with fairer skin, they can still get skin cancer. In fact, skin cancer often goes unnoticed until later stages in these individuals, when it is more dangerous.[4]

Fortunately, skin cancer can be prevented by following a few simple steps:

Wear Sunscreen

  • Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after excessive sweating.
  • Water, snow, sand, concrete, and metal reflect and intensify UV radiation, and increase your chance of getting sunburned.
  • Wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy out. Harmful UV radiation can pass through clouds.

Cover Up

  • Wear tightly-woven and loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Protect the back of your neck with a cloth flap designed to attach to your hard hat.
  • Ask your employer for safety glasses that also provide protection against UVA and UVB radiation. They can be clear. The lens color has nothing to do with UV protection.

Seek Shade

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible and when taking breaks. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • If possible, build temporary shade structures in areas where you are working.
  • If possible, complete outdoor tasks earlier or later in the day to reduce sun exposure.

Perform a Self-Examination

Examine your body from head-to-toe every month. Skin cancer that is detected early is easier to treat and more likely to be cured. Look for these warning signs:

  • A new or existing mole that has an irregular border (ragged, notched, or blurred edges)
  • A new or existing mole that is not symmetrical (one half doesn’t match the other), or whose color is not the same throughout
  • Moles that are bigger than a pencil eraser
  • Itchy or painful moles
  • A bump, patch, sore, or growth that bleeds, oozes, or crusts and doesn’t heal

[1]American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2018https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2018/cancer-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf.

[2]Rushton, L. & Hutchings, S. (2017). The burden of occupationally-related cutaneous malignant melanoma in Britain due to solar radiation. Br J Cancer 116: 536–539. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.437

[3]American Cancer Society. Cancers That Develop in Young Adults. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-in-young-adults/cancers-in-young-adults.html.

[4]The Skin Cancer Foundation. Dark Skin Tones and Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know. https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/skin-cancer-and-skin-of-color.

Training Continues to Be Job One at IFTI in Hanover

The first half of 2018 was a busy time for the International Finishing Trades Institute (IFTI) as dozens of IUPAT instructors visited the campus from throughout the United States and Canada to get training and education on the latest curriculum developed by the IFTI.

Some of the course highlights include Wallcovering Beginner Train-the-Trainer, the floor covering Tarkett Sheet Vinyl Train-the-Trainer, and Scaffold Instructor Train-the-Trainer.

There are many more courses to come at the IFTI in the coming months. Visit www.IFTI.edu and click on the LMS tab at the top of the page to see more of what we have coming up.  Check out a few classes in Hanover that we have coming up below.

  • Total Stations:  7/23 – 27
  • Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Awareness Train-the-Trainer: 7/30 – 31
  • United Academy Fall Protection: 9/10 – 14

IFTI: Curriculum Committee Meetings Crucial to IUPAT Training

Superior training and curriculum is what separates the IUPAT journey workers and apprentices on a job site from our non-union counterparts.  One of the most crucial ways we ensure our curriculum and training remains state-of-the-art and up to date is the formation of curriculum committees.  Each year, the IFTI selects trainers and journey workers from the field to participate in these committees to work page by page through current curriculum in our crafts and suggest and write the updates they deem necessary. It is a nearly year-long process done by remote and in person at the IUPAT International Training Center in Hanover, Maryland.

Special thanks to those who serve on the Glazing and Industrial Paint Curriculum Committees and recently met on the IUPAT Campus in Hanover, Maryland.

Glazing – Erik Schorken (DC 16), Chad Dolton (DC 3), Mark Weisenberg (DC 4), Chris Wall (DC 91), Matt Fox (DC 21), LMCI Glazing Industry Liaison Tim Stricker, Alex Beltran (DC 16).

Industrial Painting – John Lachapelle (DC 11), Jim McAlister (DC 80), Joe Karash (DC 9), Walter “Glenn” Wilson (DC 77), Danny Calderon (DC 9), Mark Braunstein (DC 4), Gary Jones (DC 5), Rick Harmony (DC 39), Don McClain (DC 36), Joseph Tyrakowski (DC 14), Daniel Valdivia (DC 30), Mike Iftody (DC 17), LMCI Industry Liaison Rick Matthews.

The LMCI: Investing in Technology for a 21st Century IUPAT Workforce

Whether you’re a gamer or not, you have no doubt seen how virtual reality (VR) is quickly becoming more and more popular in our everyday lives.  When companies began designing goggles to utilize our smartphones to go on a virtual adventure, literally millions of people suddenly had instant access to the technology.

However, VR is not only for play, it has long been used for collaboration and research in education, science and medicine. It is also increasingly used more in training in fields like the military, healthcare, retail, and even the NFL.  Another field in which VR training is becoming more utilized is construction. That’s right, construction, and the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI is working with one of the leaders in VR development to put more of some of the most advanced VR training devices in IUPAT training centers across the United States and Canada.

Serious Labs (www.SeriousLabs.com) was founded in 2005, and has since been revolutionizing the way people learn with VR through simulation and the utilization of elements of video game playing.  The LMCI, which works for the benefit of IUPAT members and their employers, is collaborating with Serious Labs to generate research that proves the benefits of VR training in the construction industry.

Developed by Serious Labs, the Virtual Reality Aerial Lift training is being utilized by IUPAT district councils in the United States and Canada.

The purpose of the research is to show those who train in the trades that VR training will offer, among other things, a return on investment in the equipment, as well as provide unique advantages over the traditional all hands-on training.  Armed with this data, it is hoped that the equipment and technology will become more accepted, and therefore more readily available as the demand grows in the field.

Anton Ruesing, director of the LMCI and the IUPAT Finishing Trades Institute, has no doubt the study Serious Labs is undertaking will show hard evidence that VR is here to stay in training in construction.  “The IUPAT and FTI has been using VR training for years in our industrial coating training, and our welding courses and it has been very well received by our trainers,” said Ruesing to the Journal. “The savings in materials and the advantages of training in a completely safe and controlled environment alone make the case for VR, and we are going to continue to put new tools in the hands of our trainers to make certain IUPAT members are using state-of-the-art equipment to remain the best trained workforce on the job site.”

Work from LMCI Finishing Industries Forum 2017 Continues in 2018

Last December, committees comprised of members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), IUPAT employers and industry leaders and activists met at the LMCI Finishing Industries Forum (FIF) with the goal of addressing four of the top critical issues we face today – Recruitment and Retention, Substance Abuse & Suicide Prevention, Expanding Market Share in Industrial Coatings, and Expanding Market Share in Glazing.

In April, the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI gathered leaders from IUPAT labor and management to address the challenges ahead to expand market share in the glazing industry to create more work for glazing contractors and the IUPAT workforce.

In April, the FIF committee addressing a campaign to expand market share in glazing reconvened in Oakland, California.  For two days, members representing labor and management worked together to propose solutions and the means to develop an effective marketing campaign that clearly defines the value of IUPAT training, the skills-set members have in the field and the best business practices of the glazing contractors that employ the IUPAT workforce and lead in the glazing industry.  It doesn’t stop with this meeting.  Timelines have been set to report out on progress by the committee with the aim to have a campaign in full motion beginning later this year.

Meetings are already planned for the other three initiatives in June and July, as well, with the goal to set the same timeframe for action in 2018-2019.

LMCI Roundtable in Madison

The LMCI Local Roundtable Meetings are designed to educate and provide an open forum to address industry issues. These roundtable discussions may not present all the solutions, but always allow for frank discussion and the sharing of our experiences and ideas. The labor/management roundtable meetings precede the annual LMCI Finishing Industry Forum.

This week, IUPAT leaders from District Council 7 met with employers in Madison, Wisconsin to discuss the issues important to our mutual success in the market. There are more meetings to come around the United States and Canada this summer and beyond.

May 3: IFTI on VR Webinar Panel with Engineering News Record

The IUPAT and IFTI are regarded as leaders in utilizing virtual reality (VR) in training among the Building Trades and we were recently invited by Engineering News Record to participate in a webinar addressing the impact of automation, VR and augmented reality (AR) in the workplace.

The May 3 webinar is open for all to register and attend. It begins at 2:00PM EASTERN.  Register by clicking HERE.

John Burcaw, strategic initiatives coordinator for the FTI and Painters and Allied Trades LMCI, will be representing the IUPAT in the webinar discussion described as follows:

Automation and Workers: How to be Happy Together

START DATE: 5/3/2018



Automation may displace 49% of craft-worker tasks in the next generation, says a study by consultant McKinsey—but robots and VR can’t do everything themselves!

This webinar will explore the human elements of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and new devices on job sites, as well as how trainers and developers are incorporating critical human interactions in how technologies and devices are deployed and how well they are embraced on site.

Learn how worker skills must co-exist with the new tools, and play a key role in shaping construction automation design and implementation, to boost craftworker and AE staff use and productivity, and project benefits.

The webinar is open for all to register and attend.  Register by clicking HERE.