Staying Safe

For any old timers, is there anything we should know in regards to staying healthy throughout our careers? i apply sun screen every job to help prevent skin cancer, and use respirators when i can see the bleach smoking in the texas heat. And always wearing glasses to protect eyes. I worry about my health a lot, as it’s more important than anything.


Good question; following and looking forward to hearing some answers

Not an old timer by any means, but the respirator makes a huge difference, you can really feel and smell and taste the difference. If some of you are not using it, wear it it’s worth it. Goggles too. At first i was worried about the respirator scaring clients, but it doesn’t. They just think you’re responsible.

Ladder stabilizers are great.

Harness on a roof.

Watch for cars when you’re parked on the side of the road!

But most important, if you want to live a long life, watch out not to kill old ladies’ plants…


Good topic. A respirator is top of the list - sunscreen too. Gloves when packing up hose, eye protection of course. I also wear a light face-covering when surface cleaning in enclosed areas, just a simple N95 or even a bandana over the nose and mouth. For me it REALLY helped with constant throat clearing, sniffles and sinus infections.

I’d say non-skid anywhere on your trailer or truck you step is a good one. It’s always the last job of the day you slip and bust a shin/knee etc.

Biggest for me is slow down. Every injury I’ve had or damage I’ve caused is when I’m rushing to get something done. I’ve become ok with a couple of fewer jobs per week with a focus on quality - that really helped me stop needing bandaids, icepacks and duct tape. :muscle:


You best me to the gloves part.
Also, when doing hoisewash, I do find myself holding my breath alot which likely results in my headaches I occaisionally get.

If you ever went to any of the islands, you don’t see the natives out soaking in the rays. They wear long sleeve polyester “athletic” type shirts and even before covid, baklava style masks. Naturally UV resistant, there is your sunscreen and protection from breathing in some of the housewash when doing porches and for overspray. This has been a go to for me. I see some guys customizing all of them with their brands. Another professional way to look as well.

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Respirators are a must in my opinion and never feel silly wearing one outdoors. Me and my guys are repeat offenders and rarely wear them outside unless were working indoors, garages, warehouses etc something we need to get better at. this stuff won’t harm you over night but absolutely will over time.

Some sort of knee protectors for ladder work is a good idea. My knees and thighs are absolutely shot from having my body weight over them while doing roofs over the years, hard to avoid but a problem area that will effect you later on in life.

And as mike mentioned slow down. If your rushing you haven’t charged enough.

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For me it matters just as much. I’ve been warned by family members that have worked careers in contracting and being outdoors a lot, since i’m starting young skin cancer is a bigger risk if i plan on working out in the texas sun everyday for decades

Absolutely. Looking after yourself and staying healthy is an outcome of many habits over a period of time. The younger you start the better your off.

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Reduce your stress where ever you can. Stress will kill your ambitions and your health before your lungs give out. Biggest stress reducers for me were a great employee (the seasons I got lucky) CRM to decrease time spent on estimates, invoices and scheduling and my wife taking over all calls, dealing with customers, scheduling (running crm), and most estimates.


I’m a huge safety guy, but I see no point in a respirator. Bleach is an irritant, not a carcinogen. I’ve sprayed a many of thousand gallons since 1998 with no I’ll effects. But, what bothers one person may not bother another. I lost my sense of smell in the 80’s and maybe that had something to do with it

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Something doesn’t have to be a carcinogen to have the ability to cause harm, but like you said everyone is different. I have a competitor who I work with from time to time on larger gigs and that guy can walk a tile roof in August spraying 6% ALL DAY with no mask and he’s fine. If I get a good whiff of a strong roof mix I have trouble breathing for days.

I hate wearing a respirator but it’s what I have to do if I want to enjoy my evenings lol.


Jobs required (4%-6%) mix, respirators are in use 100%… HW mix none needed


Even house wash mix when i didn’t wear a respirator and the wind turns and i get a facefull i can taste it for 2 days… sore throat… Sometimes when i didn’t wear goggles, vision a little blurry after… A few times when i really wasn’t careful handling 12.5% doing mixes i could feel it in my lungs after…

Wear your P.P.E. you will never regret it in the long run.


I’ve got blurry vision more times than I care to count. I try to wear eye protection as much as I can. I’ve talked to my eye specialist and he said it won’t cause any long term effects. He still said, obviously, don’t get it in your eyes.

I don’t wear glasses and I get bleach in my eyes


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Another thing I thought of today when I was washing a roof - on my ladder rack I have a sticker at the lock that says DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE… a reminder to me to check if there are any lines between my truck and where I’m going with the ladder. It’s usually the first thing I check when I get to a job, but the reminder doesn’t hurt.

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Oh another good one that isn’t really safety it’s more comfort. If you live in a hot, humid climate there are times where after one job you’re soaked from sweat, rain, overspray or all of the above. You then get in your truck and head say 30-45 mins to the next job and when you arrive you pop out of your truck to some discomfort south of the ball valve.

Powder of course is good prevention, but for those days where you know it’s going to be ugly Gold Bond Friction Defense is a lifesaver. CVS/Walgreens carry it. It’s also good to use towards the end of the day if you have to keep going after a heat rash shows up.

I will however warn you that if you apply it in the parking lot of CVS after your purchase it you may or may not have an opportunity to explain to a police officer the totally reasonable and completely legal reason it appeared you were fighting something in your pants and losing.

Speaking from experience?