Save Lives: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed and over 1,000 others are injured every day in accidents that involve a distracted driver in the United States. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.

Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road, and can greatly increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. While there is little you can do to control other people’s driving, there is plenty you can do to reduce your own distractions.

There are three main types of distractions:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

By practicing safe driving techniques, you can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in an auto accident. In addition to avoiding distractions, it’s important to be aware of other drivers around you and make adjustments to your driving accordingly.

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/.

3 Steps to an Injury-free Workout

Presented by TP Mechancial | Provided by HORAN

Exercise is a great way to combat stress, lose weight and boost energy. To get the most from your workouts, you should add warming up, cooling down and stretching to your routine. These three simple steps are proven to help prevent painful and costly injuries.

  1. Warming Up

Warming up allows your body time to adjust from rest to activity. Always remember to gradually increase the intensity of your warmup to reduce stress on your bones, muscles and heart.

  1. Cooling Down

As with warming up, cooling down should include movements similar to those in your workout, but at a gradually decreasing level of intensity.

  1. Stretching

After cooling down, stretching helps to build flexibility and range of motion. When stretching, follow the guidelines below:

  • Use gentle and fluid movements and breathe normally.
  • Never force a joint beyond its normal range of motion; you should not feel any pain.

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.

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.

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

“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.