Project Feature: Pre-Fabrications Benefit Fast Track Construction

Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio needed to expand in order to meet patient demands without interrupting current patient care. Construction on Mount Carmel East Expansion included a new 128-bed tower, featuring all individual rooms, and 11 new operating rooms. An addition to the existing chiller plant for added cooling and an addition to the boiler plant was also part of the project.

TP Mechanical stepped in to meet the challenge of working within a fully operational hospital on a tight 13-month deadline. In order to help keep the project on schedule and incur the least amount of disruption to the hospital patients and staff, the team constructed much of the needed materials off site. Fabricated hallway racks, which each included supply air ductwork, hydronic HVAC piping, VAV Box’s, Domestic water piping and electrical conduits, were all assembled, tested and inspected prior to being delivered to the site. There was even drywall assembled on to the racks off site to help save time. TP mechanical also prefabricated medical gas zone valve box assemblies.

These off-site fabrications directly impacted time savings on the project, accelerating the installation per floor by an impressive 75%.  Partners on the project were Messer Construction and NBBJ Architects. The $25,832,089 project was completed on schedule in just 13 months—thanks in a big way to the ability to build much of the design off-site.

 

 

A Culture of Safety

At TP Mechanical, safety is paramount and a fundamental part of our company culture. Since 2000, we have received 92 safety awards and have a current EMR rating of .79 which is well below the national average. When it comes to safety and OSHA ratings, we are in the top one percent of any comparable contractor in the U.S.

Our safety culture starts with our CEO Bill Riddle and spans amongst every single employee. “Everyone goes through orientation and goes through a preview of what safety means,” said Jamie Absher, Safety Manager for TP Mechanical. The importance of safety isn’t just something the top executives hand down—the culture of safety is contagious, and employees know the CEO has their back when it comes to working in a safe environment. If something isn’t working, safety-wise, the entire team brainstorms ways to improve the process.

The company recently launched a “Why Safety Matters to Me” program and asked employees to contribute. Overwhelmingly, the answer to that question came back to getting home safely to family. A five-member team, including Jamie, Rick Absher, Corporate Safety Director for TP Mechanical, and three safety specialists (Ben Smith in Columbus, Brittany Knue in Kentucky and Bob Campbell in Dayton) helps keep TP Mechanical on track for high safety ratings and most importantly, helps team members return home safely each night to their families.

Another way TP Mechanical ensures company-wide safety is by going above and beyond OSHA requirements. “We’re always looking for the constant improvement and wanting to be proactive,” said Jamie.  The team asks questions, such as, “What can we do to ensure our people aren’t getting hurt?” and “What can we do as a team?”

TP Mechanical provides field training with any new policy or product so every member of our team understands its importance and impact on safety. It helps foster a company culture where everyone has a voice and ideas are heard and respected. “Employees may find a better tool or improve a work process,” said Jamie.  “We look at the employees and their specialty to make it safer in their expertise. Our goal, DAILY, no matter what, is for everyone to go home whole. You can’t put a dollar or schedule above that.”

Spotlight: Bob Stiens Elevates Design Build Arm to New Success

When Bob Stiens came to work at TP Mechanical almost 3 years ago, the company saw an opportunity to grow in the Design Build market. “Bill Riddle had approached me to come on board to develop the design build market here at TP Mechanical,” said Stiens. Within the first two and a half years, the Design Build sector of the company has been very successful, securing projects for commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, residence halls, multi-family housing buildings and schools.

Stiens began his career at the young age of 15, installing and servicing HVAC systems. Later, he attended technical college to seek a degree in air conditioning technology. “While in college and being exposed to the many facets of the industry, I decided to follow my enthusiasm for designing systems,” he said. He was hired by a contractor as a draftsman, at about the time Design Build was taking off in the Cincinnati market.  At that time, before computers were used, drawings were still done by hand. “I still have all my old drafting tools to draw with,” Stiens said.  He also learned to run loads, design systems and estimate—skills he is still using forty-three years later.

“Most all of my training (in the HVAC industry) has been through hands on life experiences, manufacturer’s seminars and introductions to new products that they introduce,” said Stiens. “Keeping ahead of your competitors and introducing those ideas to customers is what helps us successfully secure projects.”

One of the first plumbing design build projects under Stiens direction was at a tissue manufacturing plant in Circleville, Ohio, where TP Mechanical designed and installed the plumbing systems on the 1.4 million square foot facility. “With a team effort of the Columbus estimators, operations, and our professional engineer, who educated me about the plumbing systems I was able to sell the project” he explained.

Another big win for the TP Design Build team came with a renovation for the Tri-Health Corporate Headquarters in the Baldwin 200 Building. This project involved renovating eight out of twelve floors in the building. Many challenges were met due to the existing building occupied spaces, limited floor heights as well as client-desired architectural features. TP Mechanical worked with James Hunt Construction to successfully install all new AHU’s, ductwork, VAV boxes, registers and piping.

For Stiens, the challenges are one of the things he enjoys most about Design Build. “It’s all part of the process and finding the best solution,” he said. He enjoys the creativity of the process and affirms that to be an exceptional Design Build engineer, you have to be creative, diligent, honest and have good customer relationships – all characteristics of the current TP Mechanical Design Build team. “Many more exciting opportunities await us in the future as we grow the Design Build market segment of the TP Mechanical business,” Stiens said.

Office Products with Impact

When TP Mechanical needs office supplies, they turn to a company that isn’t just providing pencils and pens—they’re making a difference. VIE-Ability.org offers over 40,000 office products and all of its office supply operations are run by people who are blind or have severe vision loss. TP Mechanical orders paper, folders, tape, pens, staples, staplers, post it notes pads, scissors, calendars, white out, and other office supplies through VIE-Ability.

The Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CABVI) launched VIE-Ability in 2013 to provide more professional-level job opportunities to people who had established careers, but unexpectedly lost their vision. The company enables visually impaired community members to use their abilities through tasks such as checking inventory levels, managing logistics and providing customer service. They do all of this with the help of advanced computer magnification and screen reading software.

VIE-Ability relies on steady orders from its customers, including TP Mechanical, to keep a consistent work load for all of the employees. TP Mechanical has been using VIE-Ability for all office supplies in the Cincinnati office and will be converting the Columbus and Lexington offices over in the new year. Aside from the social impact purchases make, TP Mechanical also receives competitive pricing on over 40,000 high-quality office supplies with free next-day delivery on all of their orders. The relationship is truly a win-win for all the companies involved and our community members.

Three Tips to Prevent Heat Stress and Heat-induced Illnesses on a Jobsite

Safety First, Always First.

With summer upon us and temperatures rising, it is important to understand the risk factors of heat stress and take precautions to avoid it and other heat-induced illnesses.

Heat stress generally occurs when spending long periods of time outside in excessive heat, and symptoms typically include physical exhaustion, cramping, rashes and dehydration. In the most severe cases, heat stroke may occur, which can result in confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness and even death.

“Heat stress is certainly something we take seriously,” says Jamie Absher, Safety Specialist at TP Mechanical. “Our employees are outside on jobsites daily during the warmer months, and their health and safety is our foremost priority.”

There are a variety of factors that put anyone at a higher risk of experiencing heat stress, including:

  • High temperatures and humidity
  • Direct sun exposure
  • Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • Physical exertion
  • Limited air movement
  • Bulky or heavy personal protective equipment or clothing
  • Radiant heat sources (vehicle and equipment engines, hot manufacturing processes, etc.)
  • Certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antihypertensives and anticholinergics)
  • Physical conditioning and health conditions (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, influenza, etc.)
  • Lack of recent heat exposure (not acclimatized)
  • Age of 65 or higher

To mitigate the above risk factors and prevent heat stress, here are three strategies to employ on your jobsite:

  1. Implement a heat safety plan. It is important to train workers on the risk factors, symptoms and health effects of heat stress, as well has how to respond to a heat illness incident. Establishing someone as a heat safety leader on the jobsite to manage the heat safety plan and monitor workers is another way to be proactive. When possible, it is also beneficial to utilize modified work schedules to schedule more physically demanding and non-essential outdoor work during cooler times of the day.
  2. Stay hydrated. NIOSH recommends that for moderate activity in moderate conditions, each worker should drink one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Keep fluids – especially water – readily available to workers on the jobsite. Employers should also consider providing urine color charts near toilet facilities so workers can monitor their hydration level throughout the day.
  3. Keep cool. Our bodies naturally produce heat, even during rest, so being sure to cool off during physical exertion is key to avoiding heat stress. Regular breaks should be taken in air conditioned or shaded, breezy areas. Avoiding non-essential bulky or heavy clothing and equipment can also reduce the risk for heat stress, and employers should consider providing cold packs or cooling vests to workers on particularly hot days.

To learn more about our commitment to workplace health and safety, visit http://www.tpmechanical.com/about-tp/safety/.

May is Food Allergy Action Month

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

A food allergy occurs when the body has a specific immune response to certain foods. Sometimes, the body’s response can be severe or life-threatening. Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern, according to the CDC. It is also estimated that between 4 and 6 percent of U.S. children are affected by some type of food allergy.

Among other things, Food Allergy Action Month was created to spread awareness about what food allergies are, how to recognize them and how to help someone who is having an allergic reaction. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to food include the following:

• A tingling sensation in the mouth
• Swelling of the lips, tongue and throat
• Itching, hives and a rash throughout the body
• Cramping, diarrhea or vomiting
• Wheezing and difficulty breathing
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Loss of consciousness


Despite CDC Recommendation, Many Adults Still Refusing Shingles Vaccine

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

Shingles is an extremely common—and painful—viral infection, affecting 1 out of every 3 Americans at some point in their life. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, so anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. While scientists are unsure what causes the virus to awaken at a later date, they do know that the only way to reduce the risk of getting shingles is to get vaccinated.

Recommended Shingles Vaccine
The CDC recommends that adults use a new vaccine called Shingrix instead of Zostavax, which had been the recommended vaccine from 2006-2017. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common shingles complication. In studies, two doses of Shingrix were found to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. People who have had shingles in the past, have received the Zostavax vaccine or are unsure if they have had chickenpox should also receive the Shingrix vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

To find doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

Join Our Team: Apply for the TP Mechanical Apprenticeship Program!

We will be accepting applications for our next class of apprentices Monday, June 4 through Friday, June 15 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

We will be accepting applications for the following programs at these locations:

  • Plumbing | Pipefitting – Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lexington
  • Fire protection – Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton
  • Sheet metal – Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton

We invite you to stop by the appropriate office location for the trade program you are interested in to complete the application process and schedule your interview. Bring a copy of your high school diploma, GED or a letter from school with an anticipated graduation date, and you will take a math test during the application process.

All our apprenticeship programs are free and consist of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of four years. We also offer a wide variety of classes outside the core required apprenticeship classes to help you broaden your skills and challenge yourself.

Additionally, all of our apprentices earn 20 to 25 credit hours towards an associate degree at Columbus State over the course of the four-year program. To earn your associate degree, you will need to take an additional 10 general education classes at Columbus State, or have your credits transferred to a school closer to you to complete your degree program.

“Over the years I have had the pleasure of not only watching the apprenticeship program evolve, but have been lucky enough to have been involved in the program as an instructor,” said Tony Marple, Plumbing Services Manager in Columbus.

Quality instructors, on-the-job training and teamwork – that’s the difference between our industry-leading apprenticeship program and other options. When you become a part of the TP Mechanical family, we invest in your future.

Our goal is that you will be a vital asset to the company at the end of the four-year program. We want you to continue down a path of learning and experience to become a leader at TP Mechanical.

To learn more about our apprenticeship program, visit http://www.tpmechanical.com/apprenticeship-program-detail/, or contact Jen Madden at 513-851-8881.

Researchers Link New Danger to E-cigarettes

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes has grown exponentially in recent years—especially among young adults in the United States.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes contains nicotine and other harmful chemicals, including heavy metals and carcinogens. The liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes comes in thousands of different flavors, many of which are appealing—and harmful—to teenagers.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that popular fruity vape flavors appear to contain the highest levels of cancer-causing materials. The study recommends that parents warn teens of the dangers associated with e-cigarettes to discourage usage.

5 Healthy Snacks to Satisfy Your Workday Hunger

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

Snacking can be an important part of a healthy diet. Healthy snacks can provide midday energy boosts and fuel for exercising, and can help decrease your hunger and the odds of overeating at mealtime. Try incorporating these five simple snacks into your meal plan.

  1. Almonds—1.5 ounces of almonds (about 35 nuts) provides enough fiber, protein and good fats to keep you feeling full until your next me
  2. Greek yogurt parfait—1 cup of Greek yogurt with berries is a great way to get protein, calcium, fiber and antioxidants.
  3. Blueberries and mini Babybel cheese—1 cup of fresh blueberries has only 80 calories. When paired with two mini Babybel cheeses, you get a high dose of fiber, antioxidants, protein and calcium.
  4. Apple and ½ cup roasted chickpeas—Apples are fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-fr What’s more? One medium- sized apple has less than 100 calories. When paired with ½ cup roasted chickpeas, you get a snack that provides protein, and good fats and carbs.
  5. Veggies with hummus—Snacking on raw, fiber-rich vegetables during the day can help keep you full between meals. For extra protein, eat your veggies with hummus. Be sure to check the serving size on your hummus container to keep your portion size in check.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

© 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.