Protect Health, Provide Comfort & Save Lives

Why do we do what we do? We all know the pride that comes from being a part of an extensive project. At TP Mechanical, we’re honored to work on significant projects every day, playing a pivotal role in the construction of buildings with incredible purpose. We can point at that building when it’s done and say, “I helped make that happen.”

But for the team at TP Mechanical, it goes deeper than a sense of pride. It’s believing in and living the purpose, “Protect Health, Provide Comfort & Save Lives.” This purpose statement describes how we as mechanical contractors, service providers and fabricators are doing more than just making buildings.

We’re protecting the health of the people who will live in, work and visit inside these well-thought-out structures. We’re making places comfortable, and saving lives in the event of a potential disaster, such as a fire. We invite you to take a closer look at the three elements of our purpose statement.

  1. Protect Health. The World Health Organization notes that sustainable health is not possible without access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, which we sometimes can take for granted. Quality plumbing fabrication, installation and service can improve the health and wellness of the people utilizing these facilities.
  2. Provide Comfort. At the heart of it all, heating and cooling services are about providing a healthy and comfortable environment for all occupants in a building. Indoor air quality and climate control are improved through the efficient operation of these systems. Our purpose is to provide that ideal environment for everyone.
  3. Save Lives. Fire protection systems save lives and protect property. In commercial buildings, a fire can have a devastating and deadly effect, but with properly fabricated, installed and maintained systems fires can be contained and more easily controlled, decreasing a potential fatal and catastrophic event.

At TP Mechanical, our work is driven by our purpose. We seek to serve our customers through our Core Values and our Mission Statement: TP Mechanical strives to be the premier contractor that builds everlasting value by transforming our industry through a culture based on safety, honesty, quality, innovation and servant leadership.”

Today and everyday in the future, we will continue to recognize what we do has real implications on real people; therefore the Purpose that TP Mechanical stands for is just as important as the actual work we do.

Safety: Ladders & Stairways

There are some hazards on the job site that seem obvious and some that need a little more attention from workers.

While the importance of ladder safety is communicated heavily at job sites, there are some workers and managers who unknowingly neglect to speak about the dangers of stairways.

According to OSHA, there are more than 24,000 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction.

The good news is that many of the accidents around ladders and stairways are preventable when the proper measures are taken prior to starting a job.

With Ladders

  • Use the correct ladder for the task
  • Never load ladders beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity
  • Ensure that metal ladders are kept way from electrical work and overhead power lines
  • Have a worker partner inspect for any defects
  • Look for structural damage, grease or other slippery contaminant

With Stairways

  • Stairways must be free of dangerous objects, debris and materials
  • Cover stairs with threads to avoid a slippery surface
  • Stairways with four or more risers or that rise more than 30 inches need to have a least one handrail
  • Stair handrails must be free of hazards like splinters and nails

Take Our Winter Fire Safety Quiz

Safety takes on a higher level of importance as the winter months approach. As businesses, we need to pay special attention to the work environment to be sure our employees are ready for whatever Mother Nature sends our way.

Take this brief survey to be sure you are ready to protect your employees and your office:

When is the last time you had your fire extinguishers checked?

In the US, fire extinguishers in all non-residential buildings should be checked annually – and some municipalities require a more frequent check. Look at the tag on the extinguisher to see the type of service that was performed in the past and pay attention to the date. If it is more than 12 months ago, you need to have it checked and serviced.

Side view of a male mountain climber using laptop on mountain peHow much clearance do you have between the ceiling and your file cabinets?

When is the last time you looked at the ceilings in your office? It might seem like a silly question but piling too many boxes and supplies on your file cabinets can block fire sprinklers from working properly. Well-meaning employees might try to use all the available vertical space in an office so that the floor is clear of obstacles. This might have adverse consequences. Look upward and rearrange or get rid of unnecessary items.

Are your employees using space heaters?

As an employer, you need to balance the comfort of your employees with your heating bills. And the optimum temperature varies for each individual. Some may be too cold in winter and others too hot. One solution is that employees may use space heaters to keep their space comfortable. Have you checked your employees work areas lately to see where they have placed these heaters? You may find that they are under desks and surrounded by purses and shoes and umbrellas and near stacks of file folders. This is a clear fire hazard. Although modern space heaters don’t start fires as easily as those in the past, you still need to be smart. Give the space heater some air and make sure it is not too close to something that can start on fire. This is the best way to eliminate any risk. Also be sure your employees are turning the devices off each day or have an automatic shut off.

Where are the furnace vents and intake valves in your office and home?

You probably haven’t given it much thought. But keeping vents, intake valves and chimneys free of snow and ice in the winter is important to keep the heat on and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a good idea to have a functioning carbon monoxide monitor in your home or office, especially this time of year.

The 3 S’s of Prefabrication Efficiency in Mechanical Skids

Prefabrication of engine rooms, boilers, and other mechanical equipment results in the three S’s – Scheduling benefits, Safety for workers and Smaller numbers on-site.

Our ISO-certified Fabrication Shop can prepare and prefabricate mechanical skids to make any construction project run more smoothly. Our team connects the appropriate attachments, piping and mechanical services in the shop to improve efficiency on the job site.

At the same time, the work moved to shop floor helps you reduce waste. The shop environment is ideal for utilizing raw materials efficiently, reducing overall scrap. It also removes the waste and scrap from your job site.

B1000307 Heidelberg Univ-Miller Hall FULL RES DSC_7771Scheduling Benefits

Prefabrication involves preplanning and developing the entire system in the shop. This includes all of the hookup and finishing touches of the product. This allows for maximum efficiency in scheduling. While your on-site crew is working on site preparation and construction, our team is simultaneously preparing the mechanical skids to be delivered to your site at the exact moment you need them.

When they arrive, the prefabrication work completed in the shop shaves days or weeks off of the installation process. Your busy construction schedule can save valuable time by prefabricating your systems. All of that leads to a quicker speed to occupancy, saving you time and money.

Safety for Workers

When working in our shop, we are able to fully maximize the safety of the workers. The controlled environment in the shop allows for bench-height work. Our shop is designed to make it safer for skilled craftsmen to work on mechanical equipment.

Contrast that to on-site work, and you find tight fits, with numerous pinch injury opportunities, and overhead work with the inherent danger in working on ladders. By utilizing prefabricated mechanical skids for your project, you’re able to reduce the number of workers in tight, confined spaces. At the same time, that reduces your on-site liability and makes for a safer worksite overall.

DSC_2692 OSU NRDT-Tep #B1000303Smaller Numbers On-Site

Prefabrication of mechanical skids also allows us to reduce the number of workers needed on-site. This will lower costs associated with the site and reduce the potential for scheduling conflicts. By moving some of the work into our fabrication facility, you can operate with a smaller focused team, especially in the last phases of construction, when the time being spent is mission critical. A strategy for a smaller number of workers onsite is not simply a way to make things easier; it’s a way to get an advantage over traditional construction.

For more information about our mechanical skid fabrication, visit www.tpfabricationshop.com.

Planning a Road Trip

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

Now that summer is here, many people are planning road trips for their vacations. Going on a road trip during the summer can be fun and liberating, but it can also be a source of stress and danger if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you plan on traveling by car this summer, follow these trips to ensure your trip is safe and carefree.

RoadTrip ImageCar Maintenance

• Perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. Replace oil, wipers, fluids or the air filter if necessary.
• Have your brake pads inspected.
• Check your battery’s charge and terminals.
• Check tires for tears and for bulges on the side wall. Also check your treads. If you don’t have a gauge, insert a quarter upside down into the tread. If the quarter stops while Washington’s head is visible, your tires are too worn to be driven on safely.

Trip Planning

• Try to pack as lightly as possible to save on gas and stress, and to make your car more maneuverable. Most new cars have the total weight you can carry printed on the driver’s side door.
• If you’re driving with kids, make sure you pack enough snacks, water, games, videos and music to keep them occupied and comfortable during your journey.
• Bring GPS navigation to avoid getting lost, or to receive notification on traffic conditions ahead. Be aware that these can drain your phone’s battery or may not be available where there is no Internet connection, so make sure you have a contingency plan (such as a map).
• Make sure your car has up-to-date tags and insurance. Among the worst things that can happen during a road trip are having your car ticketed or impounded for letting those things lapse.

Safety

• Pack an emergency kit. Include a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, tools, water and nonperishable food items.
• Wear your seat belt. Not only is this a life-saving precaution, but in most states it’s also the law.
• Keep your eyes on the road. Pull over to adjust any GPS settings and make phone calls. Never text while you are driving.
• Stay alert. Take breaks to recover from the strain of long-distance driving. Always stop for a break when tired.
• Use your turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn, and turn on your headlights when it’s raining or dark out so other drivers can see you.

Summertime Swimming

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

Summer is a great time to go swimming, and pools and beaches come to life with families enjoying the water. Swimming is a form of cardio exercise as well as a fun way to get a reprieve from the hot sun. Follow these tips to keep your swimming safe:Happy family in the pool, having fun in the water, mother with t

• Never swim alone. The buddy system should always be in effect, and it’s best if there is a lifeguard present.
• Always supervise children who are in or near water. If a child is missing, check the water first—seconds count if the child is underwater.
• Do not dive in shallow or unfamiliar water, and be aware of hidden obstacles that might be in the water.
• Stay hydrated by drinking water; avoid caffeine and especially alcohol.
• Don’t swallow the water you’re swimming in, and avoid swimming with open wounds—you don’t want to allow harmful germs into your body.
• Reapply sunscreen frequently; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer allows sunscreen products to claim to be “waterproof” because, depending on the sunscreen you choose, they typically only offer the stated SPF protection for up to 40 or 80 minutes when in water.

Stay Safe during Spring Weather Hazards

Presented by TP Mechanical Contractors | Provided by HORAN

From hail and mudslides to thunderstorms and tornadoes, severe weather takes many different forms in the spring months. By knowing the extent of hazardous weather, you will be able to prepare yourself and protect your family and property.

Having a storm readiness plan in place saves valuable time if severe weather strikes. Advance planning may even limit the damage caused by harsh weather. Take the opportunity now to choose the best shelter in your home, and make sure your family knows where it is. Choose a meeting place to gather after the storm to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for.

While severe weather can strike at any time, the following types of weather hazards become more prevalent during spring:

1. Floods. Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. Most flooding occurs when the volume of water in a river or stream exceeds the capacity of the channel. In the spring, heavy rains and melting snow can greatly increase the risk of flooding. To assess your susceptibility to flooding, consult flood hazard maps for your community. If you live in a high-risk area, consider elevating your furnace, water heater and electric panel. Install “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home and seal walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds.

2. Mudslides.  Mudslides develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground and results in a surge of water-saturated rock, earth and debris. As with floods, the most important precaution you can take is to determine your susceptibility to mudslides. Consult a geotechnical expert (a registered professional engineer with soils engineering expertise) for advice on reducing landslide problems and risks. Local authorities should be able to help you contact a geotechnical expert.

3. Tornados and High Winds. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. While tornados have been reported in every state, in areas where tornados are frequent it’s important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes—for example, during a severe thunderstorm. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar, and you should take shelter immediately.

For all weather hazards, maintain an emergency pack with a battery-powered flashlight, a radio, tools for emergency repair, food supplies, a first-aid kit, blankets and extra clothing. Store important identification and insurance documents in a fire and water-proof safe. Be sure to fill your car’s gas tank when severe weather is incoming. Planning ahead will help you be ready when severe weather hits.

Gamble at the Casino, Not on Safety!

Gamble at the Casino, Not on Safety! | By: Scott Teepe, Jr.

The real challenge with building a solid safety culture starts with a commitment to it on a daily basis. I truly believe as business owners that our number one priority is to ensure that each employee gets home safely, every day!

To do that, you, as the business owner, have to choose between hoping everyone stays safe or developing a strong safety program that promotes working safely and builds morale through appreciation. I hear all the time that our potential clients are too busy to schedule the class or can’t afford the training cost right now.

bigstock-Safety-First-Vector-7506065All of those are real problems, and we do our best to make the training affordable and convenient. However, you can’t afford to not invest in safety, for these reasons:

  1. You will make more money!  Not only is it the right thing to do, studies referenced by OSHA prove that for every dollar companies invest in safety they receive a return of four to six dollars.
  2. It’s the law. There are now criminal penalties that are associated with severe injuries to and deaths of employees. People are actually being sent to jail for willful violations when employees are hurt or killed.
  3. Liability. Lawsuits will happen when people are moderately or severely injured. Without training records, you are likely to lose those cases unless you can prove employee negligence.
  4. Employee morale and productivity. They go hand and hand with safety. When employees realize you are putting profit over their safety, you will lose their trust and they won’t work as hard.
  5. Workers compensation costs. Think of it this way, when someone gets injured on the job and miss work, companies incur costs for: lost productivity the day of the accident, lost productivity after the accident (while they are away from work), cost of replacing and training a new person, accident investigation costs, medical costs, TPA expense, possible attorney’s fees, possible claim settlement fees, internal cost of managing the claim, potential OSHA fine, potential loss of future work, and the cost of any damage to your material or the building. All of this for just one injury.
  6. Peace of mind. Ensuring that your company has a solid safety program that promotes safe work habits, provides the proper training for each job type, and holds everyone accountable for safety, will give you comfort and protection in the event an accident or injury does happen.
  7. Recruiting and Retention. People want to work where they feel appreciated and safe. By investing in your safety program, your current employees see that you at least care about their physical health. Prospective employees will notice your outstanding safety record.
  8. OSHA Fines. Repeat and willful violations can result in six and seven figure fines. Most fines are much less than that; however, the costs can be crippling.

Gambling on safety will always cost you over the long haul. It’s your choice to have a safe or an unsafe organization. Which will you choose?

TP Mechanical is affiliated with a premier safety firm. proActive Safety Services offers a free safety assessment to all prospective clients. If you are looking for assistance in establishing or managing your safety program, a safety resource for a period of time or just need a monthly safety inspection contact Tommy Watkins at proActive Safety Services by phone at 513-372-6232 or email at tommy@pasafety.com or you can reach me by phone at the same number or by email at scott@pasafety.com.

Safety Matters at TP Mechanical!

TP Mechanical makes safety a way of life! As participants in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) we’ve implemented meticulous safety and health management practices that address hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment and worker involvement. We voluntarily submit to rigorous evaluations to identify ways that we can continue to improve our system. Our first core value is “Safety First, Always First,” and we will relentlessly pursue the highest standard so that we can send each of our employees home to their families every night, injury-free.

TPM-SafetyFirstAlways2_1-30-13We are proud to announce that, thanks to our team’s dedication to safety, we have worked 2,780,103 hours without a lost time accident!

To find out more on our safety program visit us at http://www.tpmechanical.com/about-tp/safety.