Avocados: A Legitimately Healthy Food Craze

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

According to Telsey Advisory Group, a firm focused on evaluating the consumer market, avocado consumption in the United States has quadrupled since 2000. And, unlike many other health food crazes, avocados are actually good for you.

While it is true that avocados contain more calories and fat than other fruits or vegetables (one-fifth of an avocado contains 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat), they also have many health benefits. Avocados contain heart- healthy unsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol. In addition, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that are part of a healthy diet.

A Common Cold Can Be Contagious for Longer Than You Think

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The winter months are commonly associated with decreasing temperatures and increasing cases of the common cold. Typically, symptoms of the common cold come on gradually, and may start with a sore throat or irritated sinuses.

According to Healthline, when you have a cold, you’re contagious approximately one to two days before symptoms start and can continue to be contagious for up to seven days after you’ve become sick. Unfortunately, many people can’t stay home for that long of a time to fully recover. Consider the following suggestions to help avoid becoming ill or passing on a cold to a co-worker, friend or family member:

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and
  • Sanitize commonly touched
  • Always cough and sneeze into your elbow—not your hands—to prevent spreading germs.

Key Safety Guidelines to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Safety First, Always First.”

With winter’s colder temperatures and heating systems running around the clock, it is important to be aware of the heightened risk and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas that is produced when incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials (i.e., natural gas) occurs. Because it’s odorless and colorless, CO often goes undetected. With many facilities and homes utilizing natural gas furnaces and water heaters, winter weather puts everyone at an increased risk of CO poisoning.

“Risks for CO poisoning are higher than many realize, especially because the causes are often overlooked in our day-to-day lives,” says Jamie Absher, Safety Specialist at TP Mechanical. “It could be something as simple as a faulty gas line or an improperly vented furnace – which are preventable with proper maintenance.”

According to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), here are some ways to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. These devices work similarly to a smoke detector, only they measure the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
  • Have appliances that use natural gas inspected by a qualified repair person once a year.
  • Inspect the vents, flues and chimneys of all gas water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces to ensure proper ventilation of exhaust.
  • Never use an oven to heat rooms. This can damage the oven and cause carbon monoxide to be released into the building.
  • Never heat a room with a gas or kerosene space heater that does not have proper venting.

Why is monitoring CO levels and preventing CO poisoning so critical? Because the effects can be permanent or fatal, as CO exposure hampers our blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and vital organs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypoxia (severe oxygen deficiency) due to acute CO poisoning may result in long-term or irreversible brain or heart damage.

Some common symptoms of CO exposure include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

“If your CO alarm goes off or you experience any CO exposure symptoms, do not hesitate to act,” says Jamie. “Immediately move to fresh air and contact the local emergency services or call 911.”

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

Winter Sports Safety Tips

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The cold, crisp air and breathtaking views are just a few of the simple joys associated with winter sports. To ensure that your skiing or snowboarding excursions remain safe, be sure to keep in mind the following five tips:

  1. Inspect your skiing or snowboarding equipment to ensure that it is in good working condition.
  2. Wear protective headgear, such as a helmet and snow goggles.
  3. Yield to skiers or snowboarders in front of or below you on the slope.
  4. Carry a fully charged cellphone with you at all times.
  5. Never drink alcohol while skiing or snowboarding.

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.

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.

Fight the Flu with These Simple Tips

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

The arrival of the fall and winter months signals many things, including the beginning of flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity peaks between December and February.

Seasonal influenza can cause serious complications for people of any age, but children and the elderly are more vulnerable. To help keep your household healthy this flu season, consider the following suggestions:

  • Get the flu vaccine. Becoming vaccinated against the flu is the best chance of preventing the illness.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay away from others when you feel under the weather.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water to protect against germs.
  • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active and drink plenty of water to keep your immune system strong.
  • Manage your stress and eat a nutritious diet rich in healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber.

Time to Prepare Your Building for Winter

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.