As we say goodbye to the summer heat, fall is an excellent time of year to review your building systems. Winter can create plenty of unexpected repair costs and emergencies, but a little bit of preventive maintenance and planning for potential system upgrades can go a long way in saving you future headaches.
Here are three routine checks to add to your building’s winter prep list:
Conduct a thorough inspection of all mechanical and plumbing systems.
Check that freeze stats are set at correct temperatures, freeze protection devices are receiving power and heating systems are properly operating. Verify the operation sequence of your chilled water cooling and hot water heating control valves is working correctly.
Look for ways to improve building energy efficiency.
Three common energy drains for buildings are poor insulation, malfunctioning units in semi-heated spaces, and poor or nonexistent system monitoring.
Replacing damaged and missing insulation or providing the proper insulation for your building and systems are critical to controlling your building’s environment and saving money on operating costs. Monitoring your facility’s temperature data to optimize system settings is crucial to maximizing your building’s efficiency.
Check roof and other drainage systems.
Time to clean out those gutters and drains. Snow and ice – even as they melt – can obstruct normal drainage paths. Obstructions
can cause damage and additional issues that can incur repair and service costs.
An autumn audit like this, with a focus on proactive and preventive actions, will help you identify and resolve problems before they are escalated to an emergency. They are critical to keeping your facility operating at peak efficiency.
To learn more about how our service team can assist you in your Fall Audit and how our preventive maintenance plans can serve you, visit www.tpmechanical.com/tp-service-group.
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THE PEOPLE BEHIND TP MECHANICAL
Introducing Matt Anderson, Business Development Leader – Commercial
While Matt is fairly new to TP Mechanical, he brings 20 years of sales and business development experience to the table. He is familiar with the major Ohio and Kentucky markets, having worked with architecture, engineering and construction contacts in the region for the past seven years.
Matt holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Thomas More College and has completed his OSHA 30-Hour safety training. To continue his education and extend his network, Matt attends a variety of events held by industry-specific organizations and trade associations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Allied Construction Industries (ACI) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
Matt prides himself on his collaborative work with general contractors, construction managers, architects and engineers to provide design assistance and realistic budgets, while developing and strengthening relationships that lead to greater project success and lasting partnerships.
Matt also assists in social media and newsletter content development to inform, educate and build relationships in the Kentucky, Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus markets.
“Safety First, Always First.”
Utilizing proper safety guidelines while working in or around confined spaces on a jobsite is imperative to protecting our employees and clients.
OSHA defines a confined space as any place on a jobsite that has limited means of entry and/or exit, is large enough for a worker to enter it and is not intended for regular/continuous occupancy.
There are two types of confined spaces – non-permit-required and permit-required. A non-permit-required confined space does not contain atmospheric hazards or have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.
OSHA defines a permit-required space as having one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires or heat stress
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 136 workers were killed in incidents associated with confined spaces in 2015.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, clients, partners and the general public,” says Jamie Absher, Safety Specialist at TP Mechanical. “By doing things like participating in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and partnering with safety experts, we put ourselves in a position to prevent injuries like those that can be caused by working in confined spaces.”
Some of the key OSHA guidelines involving confined spaces:
- Evaluate the workplace and clearly identify any permit-required confined spaces with the proper signage
- Test atmospheric conditions before entry and purge, make inert, flush and/or continuously ventilate the permit space as necessary to eliminate or control atmospheric hazards
- Provide, maintain and require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – including self-contained breathing apparatus and personal fall protection when appropriate – and any other equipment necessary for safe entry
For full guidelines, please refer to the OSHA Confined Space Standard, CFR 1910.146.
To learn more about our commitment to workplace health and safety, visit tpmechanical.com/about-tp/safety.
Since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the national Ready Campaign have promoted National Preparedness Month (NPM) every September. NPM encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies and strives to increase the overall number of people, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions.
The most recent data from the Red Cross, though, reveals that despite 8 out of 10 Americans feeling unprepared for a catastrophic event, only 1 in 10 has taken the following appropriate preparedness steps:
- Create a family emergency plan.
- Stock an emergency supply and first-aid kit.
- Train in basic first aid.
Remember, you can’t plan when a disaster will occur, but you can plan ahead to be prepared if and when a disaster does strike. This September, take time to learn more about NPM and take the suggested steps to become properly prepared. For more information, please visit the NPM website.
Presented by TP Mechanical and Provided by HORAN
Opioid addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States, with opioid overdoses killing 91 Americans every day. In 2015 alone, more than 33,000 people died from an opioid overdose. Read on to learn more about opioids and to learn how to recognize the signs of opioid addiction.
What is an opioid?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioids are a class of drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Common opioids include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription painkillers like oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and morphine. Continued use (and abuse) of opioids can lead to physical dependence on and addiction to these types of drugs.
What are the signs of opioid addiction?
Being familiar with the most common signs of opioid addiction can help you or someone you love get proper treatment before it is too late. Physical signs of opioid addiction include the following:
- Noticeable euphoria
- Drowsiness, confusion or intermittent nodding off
- Constricted pupils
- Slowed breathing
For more information on opioids, opioid addiction and opioid overdoses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s or the NIDA’s opioid webpage.
Article presented by TP Mechanical and provided by HORAN
“Safety First, Always First” is about more than the equipment we wear and the precautions we take on jobsites. Preventative maintenance goes a long way in protecting the health and safety of all from hazards that aren’t always visible. An example of this is water system flushing to eliminate Legionella bacteria or other contaminants in schools during summer break.
Legionella is known to survive and colonize in building water systems due to its presence in source waters. Hot water and water passing through older and lower volume systems are particularly susceptible because warm temperatures and thicker biofilm buildups are risk factors for Legionella colonization.
In general, concentrations of the bacteria in building water supplies are very low. However, when the conditions are right – for example, an older school experiencing an abrupt and steep reduction in water usage while on summer break – the chance for colonization exists.
Methods of Water System Flushing
Routine and systematic monitoring serves as an alarm to determine whether there is contamination and if remediation is necessary. The most common remediation techniques to eliminate Legionella in building water systems include:
- Super-chlorination – introducing free chlorine (Cl) gas to increase Cl levels system-wide for a few hours to achieve a concentration greater than 5 parts per million (ppm) and flushing the entire system
- Super-heating – raising the water temperature to 160ºF (70ºC) or higher for one hour for every ten years of water system age and flushing the entire system
- Drying and flushing – disconnecting the entire water system, draining all the water and blowing hot, dry air through the pipes, and then reconnecting the water to flush the system
With every water system installed, TP Mechanical trains owners and maintenance personnel on preventing these types of water quality issues. We provide third party documentation showing we have met code requirements and are turning over a clean, safe water system.
With children everywhere heading back to school after a long summer off, it’s important to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
For more information
Learn more about how safety is a way of life at TP Mechanical and then Contact Us to see how we can provide comprehensive mechanical services for your next project.
Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN
This August 18 to September 4, law enforcement will be stepping up their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This means police officers will be focused on spotting impaired drivers and pulling them over.
There were nearly 10,000 people killed in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes in 2014, according to the CDC. This accounts for nearly 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Keep this sobering statistic in mind when attending gatherings with alcohol, like barbecues, beach parties or work events.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a smartphone app to help drivers who cannot safely drive home. The app can help tell you where you are, help you call a taxi or help you call a friend. Other useful apps include Uber and Lyft, as both can get you home if it’s not safe for you to drive.
For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit the NHTSA website.
Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN
There were 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These preventable deaths illustrate how important preparation is during extreme temperatures. Whether you are swimming at the beach or lounging in the park, you should be prepared for extreme heat conditions.
The CDC provides three easy steps to prevent heat-related illnesses: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. This summer, make sure you have shade wherever you are going and have attire, like a sun hat or a thin, long-sleeved shirt, to avoid direct contact with the sun. Be sure to drink lots of water—more than you usually do. Your body quickly loses fluids in the summer more quickly, which can lead to illness. Finally, stay informed by monitoring the local weather forecast and prepare accordingly for outdoor activities.
Know the Signs
The two most dangerous heat-related illnesses, besides dehydration, are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is exhibited through cold, clammy skin, heavy sweating and nausea. If you or someone shows these symptoms, move to a cooler location and sip water. If you or someone has a rapid pulse, hot and red skin, and loses consciousness, this could mean heat stroke, and you should call 911 immediately. In this latter scenario, do not give fluids to the person showing the symptoms. Do, however, move them to a cooler location and lower their temperature with cool cloths.