Key Safety Guidelines for Working in Confined Spaces

“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.

National Preparedness Month

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

Do You Know the Signs of Opioid Addiction?

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

“Back to School” Means Time for Water System Flushing

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.

Have a Responsible Summer

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.

Prevent Heat Illness

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.

Stay Prepared

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.

Protecting Clients and the General Public from Job Sites with Proper Barriers and Signs

“Safety First, Always First.”

That is our first core value at TP Mechanical, and it is critical to carrying out our mission.

Safety on job sites is not only important to protecting our employees, but also our clients and the general public. A key component of keeping everyone near a work site safe is defining a clear perimeter by utilizing proper barriers and signs.

With the “Safety First, Always First” mindset, TP Mechanical adheres to all industry safety guidelines and standards. We protect our employees, clients and the general public on a work site by using proper barriers and signs to meet OSHA safety and health regulations as well as those set by the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Safety Engineers (ANSI/ASSE).

When protecting a job site, do:

  • Notify the public of any closed areas and clearly mark safe, alternative areas for pedestrian traffic
  • Maintain and keep pedestrian traffic areas well-lit so that slipping, tripping and falling hazards are reduced
  • Protect public areas adjacent to job sites from construction objects or debris with appropriate barriers, catch platforms, enclosures, perimeter or vertical debris netting, sheds, overhangs, scaffolding or similar structures

When protecting a job site, do not:

  • Block public ingress or egress routes (i.e., stairways, doors, entrances, exits, paths or hallways)
  • Let anyone without required special licenses, permits or operator training use associated machinery or vehicles
  • Store hazardous materials in anything other than properly labeled, approved containers away from the public

In September 2005, TP Mechanical became the first mechanical contractor in the U.S. to achieve the exemplary designation as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) participant. Our participation in VPP allows us to continually improve our safety and health management systems, and exemplifies our relentless pursuit of the highest safety standards for our employees, clients and the general public.

Prefabrication Answers the Challenge of a Tight Timeline

University of Cincinnati High Rise
Cincinnati, Ohio

This 14-story project offered unique challenges due to a strict schedule of just 12 months. To meet the timeline, TP Mechanical utilized prefabrication – building systems and connections offsite and delivering them to the job-site for installation.

This approach allowed us to maximize production with our on-site project team and prefabricate all materials being installed on this project. The coordination between our project management team, fabrication facility and distribution center helped to make us the premier contractor for this challenge.

Learn more about this project by visiting our portfolio page on our website.

Preventative Maintenance Can Reduce Facility Costs for Building Owners

Has your business been impacted by costly repairs or replacements for equipment in your facilities? Has your company’s productivity suffered from equipment down-time?

These are costs that can be reduced and issues that can be avoided by investing in a preventative maintenance plan.

As tightening budgets and “doing-more-with-less” mantras have become the norm for businesses around the globe, the maintenance of a facility’s mechanical systems is often placed on the back-burner. However, that is precisely the type of decision-making that can cost building owners more money long term.

“TP believes in doing the right maintenance at the right time, based on how the customer owns and operates their building. This will allow the customer to better manage and control their day,” says Jamie Johnston, Sales Manager at TP Mechanical.

At TP Mechanical, we take your investment in your facilities seriously. We understand that a disruption in your mechanical systems has the potential to disrupt your operations, and our team has the experience, expertise and resources to keep your facility functioning at peak efficiency.

Our service agreements are customized to keep your equipment running efficiently and overcome potential issues before they become emergencies. We also take the time to plan and strategize for future unit replacements, so you are not hit with unexpected costs or lost time due to mechanical failure. This attention to detail provides our partners a higher return on their investment and yields a high rate of customer satisfaction.