January: Thyroid Awareness Month

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck that helps control the function of many of the body’s organs and helps to set the metabolism. According to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and an estimated 12 percent of the population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime.

Fortunately, the American Journal of Medicine reports that early detection of a thyroid disorder is as cost-effective as early detection of common chronic conditions. In honor of Thyroid Awareness Month, take some time to become familiar with the most common risk factors, which include the following:

  • Being female—Women are five to eight times more likely to suffer from a thyroid disorder than men are.
  • Age—The Thyroid Foundation of America recommends that women get annual thyroid hormone level tests yearly starting at age 50 and that men should get yearly tests beginning at age 60.
  • A family history—If thyroid disease runs in the family, testing every five years after age 35 is recommended.
  • Pregnancy—Thyroid conditions can arise after giving birth.

Those with a high risk of developing a thyroid disorder should speak with their doctor. Together, you can determine the next steps to take.

TP Mechanical Prepared for the Opportunities and Challenges of 2018

In 2018, TP Mechanical is looking forward to many exciting opportunities and challenges. Our continued dedication to being an industry and community leader positions us for success throughout the New Year.

We are fortunate to work in a peak time for our industry’s market, in which many project opportunities for the commercial and service divisions exist. While, these upcoming opportunities could present us with challenges, we will utilize our knowledge, experience and resources to achieve our goals and provide the service our customers deserve and have grown to expect from TP Mechanical.

As a company, we must continue to focus on training, innovation and making use of new technologies and techniques. Keeping our facilities, services and employees up-to-date with industry trends, standards and training allows us to deliver comprehensive mechanical services to our clients while helping our employees achieve their professional and personal goals.

During 2017, we have had great success working in our communities to support their needs. In November, through our gala fundraising efforts, we were able to raise $18,000 for A Kid Again. This organization provides resources for families of children with special needs. We must continue to support and invest in our communities as we can only be as successful as the communities we live and do business in.

I am looking forward to what 2018, and the future, holds for TP Mechanical.

For more information

To learn how TP Mechanical can provide you with innovative, comprehensive mechanical services and solutions, visit our website.

People Behind TP Mechanical Introduces Kelly Simerman

Kelly joined TP Mechanical in July 2007 as the Estimating Coordinator of Columbus, and added the Dayton office to her responsibilities in 2015. Kelly has a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University, an A.A.S. in Construction Management from Columbus State, and an OSHA10-Hour Certification.

As a pivotal member of the estimation team, Kelly is the central hub of all things estimation–coordinating the receipt and distribution of bid invitations through when a contract is received and the project is turned over to our Operations team.

Internally, Kelly schedules the resources for and tracks all projects that TP Mechanical is bidding. Her responsibilities include keeping all bidding documentation updated and distributed to the estimators to ensure submission of complete and accurate bids. Kelly also provides key financial and goal reporting to management and ensures that all bid documentation is turned over to our Operations team for launching successful projects.

Kelly recently managed the testing, implementation and training for our updated estimation software. This enables TP Mechanical to provide timely estimates and budgets with the highest level of accuracy. Kelly also maintains the database with the latest material and labor pricing available, and troubleshoots any technical issues.

Kelly’s external customers consist of construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and vendors. She keeps this group informed about the projects TP Mechanical is bidding, ensures they receive proper documentation during the bidding process, and keeps the communication flowing back to our estimating team.

When asked why she believes TP Mechanical stands apart from other mechanical contractors in our area, Kelly replied, “Being a mechanical sub-contractor that offers all three disciplines – plumbing, HVAC and fire protection – sets us apart.”

Kelly feels this gives us an advantage in meeting our clients’ objectives by delivering comprehensive mechanical solutions. Additionally, she believes TP Mechanical’s commitment to fabrication, safety and employee mentoring shows our dedication to innovating while adhering to the highest standards within the industry.

Protect Your Facility’s Water Systems with Backflow Testing

Backflow contamination is a critical public health issue that occurs when toxins from one part of a water system flow into a fresh or potable water supply line. Thankfully, water systems are designed and built to prevent this.

However – as with any system – testing, maintenance and repair are key to ensuring a water system is properly functioning and preventing backflow contamination. Every state, and even individual municipalities, has plumbing codes and standards to uphold in order to keep people and local fresh water supplies safe.

OSHA’s sanitation standard (1910.141) states: “Construction of nonpotable water systems or systems carrying any other nonpotable substance shall be such as to prevent backflow or backsiphonage into a potable water system.”

“Meeting codes and standards is important because public health is vital,” said Mike Kelley, TP Mechanical’s Quality Control Associate. “Our licensed backflow testing ensures your water systems are code compliant and keeping the supply safe.”

One of the most common culprits is the simple water hose connection. If a water hose is not protected with a backflow prevention device, such as a vacuum breaker, the water hose creates a path for cross-contamination to the potable water system. Without a backflow preventer in place, everyday tasks like filling a swimming pool or using a power washer with a chemical cleaner tank can become dangerous by allowing whatever is in that system to flow back into drinking water.

Backflow prevention devices are also key components in avoiding contamination events from irrigation systems, fire suppression systems and large boilers. Without a properly functioning preventer, these types of systems are susceptible to biological, chemical and mineral contamination because water often sits stagnant in them, allowing bacterial and inorganic material build-up.

“Checking all preventers for leaks and the whole system for pressure issues is critical,” said Mike. “These are both common culprits when backflow occurs, and they put your facility and the entire local water supply at risk.”

Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana plumbing code require all backflow prevention devices be tested annually by a licensed plumber, and TP Mechanical will ensure code compliance and system effectiveness for companies.

For more information

To learn how TP Mechanical provides comprehensive, innovative solutions to ensure your plumbing meets code, visit our website, and contact us to schedule a backflow test.

People Behind TP Mechanical Introduces Stanley Garber

Stanley started with TP Mechanical in November 2016 as the Project Manager of Government Projects in our Dayton region. Stanley brings 44 years of governmental and industrial experience to TP Mechanical.

Stanley’s primary goal when working with general contractors and owners is to save them money. Starting as a bookkeeper at a plumbing company in 1973, Stanley possesses a wealth of accounting experience he combines with industry knowledge to evaluate equipment, applications, system efficiencies, and installation time when putting together project quotes and compiling alternative ideas for saving clients’ money. This concept has been key to establishing long-term working relationships over the years.

“It is important to look at all angles to not compromise the integrity of our work or the systems being installed in a building,” says Stanley.

Stanley believes TP Mechanical’s fabrication capabilities really set us apart from other mechanical contractors, especially because our facility is ISO certified and our program offers in-depth CAD capabilities.

Stanley believes TP Mechanical can offer huge advantages to government and industrial projects by providing cost savings through pre-fabrication, value engineering and shorter install times.

Contact Stanley either by email stanley.garber@tpmechanical.com or phone 937-985-9133.

Careers In Construction

TP Mechanical and the Ohio Valley Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) were excited to host tri-state high school counselors this morning at our training facility. We spoke to them about our apprenticeship programs and career paths, as well as earning potential in the construction industry, so they can help educate students considering careers in construction.

Our companies feel it is important to educate counselors because they are helping the next generation of workers discover the best option for them after high school. With the decline in young workers in the construction industry, these learning opportunities are critical to the growth potential and sustainability of our industry.

John Morris & Cody Shaw speaking to high school counselors.

TP Mechanical offers a four-year, state-certified apprenticeship program. Our apprenticeship programs all consist of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of the 4 years. We also offer a wide variety of classes outside the core required apprenticeship classes to help you broaden your skills and challenge yourself.

Learn more about our apprenticeship program and career paths, visit www.tpmechanical.com. To learn more about Ohio Valley ABC, visit www.ovabc.org.

The People Behind TP Mechanical Introducing Greg Knue

Greg, Operations Leader of the Kentucky Region, has been with TP Mechanical 21 years. Prior to his current role, Greg has served in many capacities within the company, including superintendent, project manager and instructor for our apprenticeship program.

“I enjoy the variety of circumstances that I am faced with in my day-to-day operations; it keeps me on my toes and always learning,” Greg stated. “This position is very much like a ‘box of chocolate’ – you never know what you might get next.”

Greg works with our Kentucky staff to make sure we are meeting the needs of customers on and off project sites. He stands out for his commitment to helping his team succeed and for being honest with his team members and customers alike.

When asked why he believes TP Mechanical stands apart from other mechanical contractors, Greg said:

“Our company has a very generous training budget with a strong commitment to the personal growth of our employees. The company provides them with ongoing education as well as a career path. This allows our employees the opportunity to excel within our organization and industry while meeting their personal goals.”

Contact Greg either by email greg.knue@tpmechanical.com or phone 859-685-2198.

City of Columbus Implements Alternative Self-Certification Process as New Ohio Plumbing Code Takes Effect

City of Columbus Implements Alternative Self-Certification Process as New Ohio Plumbing Code Takes Effect

Notable changes were made to Section 312 Tests and Inspections of the Ohio Plumbing Code (OPC), specifically addressing the testing of systems using compressed air. November 1, 2017, was the official adoption date for the updated OPC, based on the 2015 International Plumbing Code.

Beginning December 1, 2017, any installation tested with compressed air will be disapproved.

There were prior amendments to this OPC section in January and October 2016, which are included in the newest adoption of the code. These original revisions were driven by concerns over increasing litigation stemming from testing systems with compressed air.

Due to the OPC changes, as well as those to the Residential Code of Ohio Section 108.8, the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services (BZS) decided to implement an alternative self-certification option for plumbing contractors.

The OPC does permit alternative testing methods, if approved by the manufacturer of the plumbing system materials. The Columbus BZS verified all manufacturers are accepting a vacuum test, but no companies will accept a test with compressed air or other compressed gas.

“Approved testing methods must be adhered to as over-pressurizing a system with air instead of a vacuum could result in an inspector requiring all piping to be removed and replaced,” said John McCann, TP Mechanical’s Operations Leader for the Columbus Region. “Staying up-to-date and compliant with codes not only saves our clients time and money, but also ensures their facilities are functional and safe.”

For more information

Visit https://www.columbus.gov/bzs/inspections/Plumbing/ to learn more about the code changes and alternative testing methods.

To learn how TP Mechanical can provide comprehensive, innovative solutions to ensure your plumbing meets code, visit http://www.tpmechanical.com/why-choose-tp-mechanical/.

Three Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers

Three Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers

The leaves have turned, the sky has gone gray and the temperature has dropped. Fall is officially transitioning to winter, and as it does, TP Mechanical applies our “safety first, always first” mantra to help construction workers deal with the additional challenges they face on the job during the colder months.

Whether its colder temperatures, inclement weather or increased jobsite hazards, winter presents several threats to worker health and safety. Here are three tips to keep construction workers safe in extreme and unusual work conditions.

Tip #1 – Stay Warm by Wearing Winter Gear and Limiting Outdoor Exposure

The most obvious threat winter poses to worker safety is cold and inclement weather. Being aware of daily forecasts and requiring workers to wear the right gear for the job are paramount to keeping them healthy and safe. Boots, gloves, hats, heavy coats, rain gear and more are all essentials to staying warm and preventing hypothermia. Additionally, providing workers with a warm environment for short and frequent breaks can go a long way in protection from the harsh elements.

Health issues, from as minor as a common cold to as severe as hypothermia or frostbite, are often more likely to pop up during the winter, and proper protection can’t always prevent them. Properly educating workers on what symptoms to look for may help them remove themselves from the elements before it becomes dangerous to their health and seek medical treatment sooner.

Here are signs and symptoms of hypothermia:

  • Cool skin
  • Slower, irregular breathing
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Severe shaking
  • Rigid muscles
  • Drowsiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory lapses

The following are signs and symptoms of frostbite:

  • Paleness of the skin
  • Sensation of coldness or pain
  • Pain disappears after a while with the freezing of the tissues.
  • Tissues become increasingly whiter and harder.

Tip #2 – Inspect All Jobsites Daily

Winter weather often means snow and ice, creating additional fall hazards on a worksite. Snow and ice should be removed from the jobsite prior to allowing workers into it. Putting down salt is key to preventing slips and falls from refreeze.

During the winter, weather changes can often be severe and sudden. Precautions should be taken to ensure plans are in place if bad weather strikes without warning to keep workers safe (e.g., utilizing proper lighting and signage on the jobsite in case visibility is decreased).

Tip #3 – Prepare Necessary Vehicles for the Cold

In addition to completing a full inspection of any vehicles before they enter a jobsite, make sure they are stocked with necessities for dealing with winter weather. Supply vehicles with winter emergency kits including items like:

  • Flashlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Blankets
  • Ice Scrapers
  • Shovels
  • Tow Chains
  • Emergency Flares

These items aren’t simply useful commodities – they can be life-saving if conditions on a jobsite degrade rapidly without warning or if another emergency occurs. Make sure every worker knows where to find the kit in every vehicle on the jobsite.

”Safety first, always first” rings true year-round, but winter weather presents different challenges. Taking proper precautions on the jobsite and providing workers with the necessary gear and knowledge to stay warm and safe are critical this time of year.

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.