August 2022 Newsletter

A Word from our President

Shawna

by – Shawna Cooley-Fenix Heating & Cooling

Hello,

I would like to thank everyone who attended our July planning meeting last month. We ended up with some great ideas for the upcoming year’s meetings.

I hope that you all are making the best of these last few hot weeks before summer starts to wind down. I also hope that you and your employees get a chance to regroup from this crazy summer that we have had before the fall arrives and heating season begins.

We do not have a general meeting this month. Septmeber’s  meeting will be held @ the Scotch with a topic tbd. Don’t forget to bring your business cards for a chance to win $100!

Please feel free to email or call Shawna at (316) 945-4842 or shawnac@fenixheat.com with any concerns or questions.


Education

We have 2 of our 3 dates on the schedule for this fall.  

Class dates are listed below.  Be on the look out for a seperate email with ALL the information about the classes and what the subjects will be.

September 21st
2018 IMC chapter 1 and chapter 2 administrative provisions and definitions

October 5th
Structural provisions of the 2018 Imc, irc

Please note the changes:
Classes are back to in-person @ Ferguson
Payments for classes have to be made recieved by the Friday before class is being help (Example: class is on 9/21, payment has to be recieved by 9/16) this is to ensure we have a good head count for food.


KCCA $500 TOOL SCHOLARSHIP
The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.


July’s General Meeting

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to the planning meeting last month.  We are excited to have some new items this upcoming year.  BIG congratulations to Rob Wyss from WTI, he was the winner of this months $100.

Hope to see you @ future meetings!! All general meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month except August & December.


2022-2023 Meetings

 
August                   NO MEETING
September 15th    Topic tbd @ Scotch
October 20th         Tom Roberts @ Scotch
November 17th     Federated OSHA @ Scotch
December             NO MEETING (Christmas party 12/14/22)
January 19th         Stoney W/MABCD @ Scotch
February 16th        WTI @ WTI
March 16th            RGF @ Scotch
April 20th               Federated @ Scotch
May 18th                WSU Tech @ WSU Tech
June 16th

This list is subjust to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.

Stay Safe While Preparing for Power Outages

Contractors push for preventative maintenance, weather awareness

When summertime rolls round, everyone loves spending their days outside, enjoying the weather. But it becomes a problem when they can’t come back home to cool, fresh, air-conditioned homes. Storms are not the only thing that lead to power outages — as temperatures continue to rise, the nation’s power grid is only put under more strain.

Although HVAC contractors can’t map out exactly when a power outage will hit, they can still try to plan ahead. Chad Peterman, president of Peterman Brothers, said one of the simplest ways to prepare for an outage is to closely monitor the weather for any incoming storms or other extreme weather patterns. Being caught by surprise, he said, can be a major problem.

“Especially over a weekend or something like that, we should be prepared and be able to have the resources available for our customers, should they need us,” explained Peterman.

He added that communication is key when it comes to the staff on call. Peterman said some contractors might feel the need to overstaff during outages due to the high demand of calls they receive, however it’s not always necessary. By being made aware of a potential emergency situation, technicians can leave spaces in their schedule to address these more urgent jobs, should they arise. Some techs might even be willing to work longer hours.

“It’s as simple as, ‘Hey, we could be expecting some of this. It may be a little bit later night than the normal.’ We make sure we’re communicating with our team,” said Peterman.

Push for Preventative Maintenance

In addition to staff members, communication is also important when it comes to customers. According to Peterman, one of the most crucial things to educate consumers on is generators. He said a well-maintained generator makes the difference between being slightly inconvenienced versus being completely out of service.

Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services, said many people think of their generators as reliable backups, but overlook the fact that these pieces of equipment also need to be looked after and maintained. Puzio said many consumers let their gas generators just sit all year until they need it, but the gas in the system doesn’t stay well, especially without a stabilizer in the fuel system. He added that consumers should check their generators before the spring storm season because that’s when the demand starts to rise.

“The biggest thing with folks is they don’t think of the preventive maintenance. Just when all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, shoot. Power’s out. Let’s get the generator we haven’t used for a year and let’s hope it works,” explained Puzio.

Although his company, like many others, offers service agreements and membership opportunities to help push preventive maintenance, Puzio said that some people just don’t understand the importance of being proactive about their HVAC systems — they would rather just fix something when it’s broken. He attributed some of this attitude to consumers believing that contractors are “basically another salesperson.”

“The biggest investment you have is your home. Do you run your car without changing oil? Might be a little late, but you change it,” said Puzio.

However, delaying repairs can be costly. Not only have fuel prices gone up, but lead times in the industry are only increasing. Puzio said although the company can always bring in a portable cooling system to loan to their customers while they wait, it’s only a temporary solution. By regularly checking their HVAC systems, consumers can avoid some of these bigger problems during power outage season.

“Whether it’s a generator we installed or something that they put in themselves, we just want to be safe.”

Matt Marsiglio
Operations manager, Flame Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

Safety First

When dealing with power outages, there’s more to think about beyond simply fixing the problem — contractors and consumers must both approach these situations with safety in mind. Puzio said during storm season, older or decaying trees become a problem because the wind will blow their branches everywhere. To avoid this, he said his company tries to prep consumers and convince them to bring someone to remove the branches early on to avoid any potential electrical damage.

Beyond the consumer’s safety, Matt Marsiglio, operations manager at Flame Heating, Cooling, and Electrical, said one way to protect technicians on the job is to not overwork them, especially in extreme weather. He said all of the company’s delivery vehicles have a cooler filled with ice water in them, as well as hydration drinks and electrolyte tablets. The company also sends emails out to its technicians, reminding them to hydrate and report any signs of dehydration or heatstroke immediately.

“We’d rather send them home half a day and have them be healthy, than force them to work a full day,” explained Marsiglio.

Prioritizing jobs is also key. Although a power outage is unfortunate for everyone involved, some jobs are more urgent than others. For example, Marsiglio said the company’s commercial department will prioritize jobs that involve loss of product, while the residential side will likely service households with elderly and babies. Saying no can be difficult, Marsiglio said, but it’s necessary to address as many customers as possible while avoiding burnout.

Marsiglio also emphasized the importance of running generators outside of the home. He said it’s crucial to inform consumers that their generators should not be inside their houses or garages — they should be run outside, a fair distance from their homes, to avoid carbon monoxide.

“Whether it’s a generator we installed or something that they put in themselves, we just want to be safe,” said Marsiglio.


Funny Photos


risk management corner

Avoid Workplace Hazards with Slip, Trip, and Fall Controls

Each year, thousands of workers are injured or disabled as a result of slips, trips, and falls, which may occur anytime, anywhere, or to anyone. These injuries could create long-lasting complications for workers who sustain them, and unfortunately, they are not uncommon occurrences in the workplace — about 20 to 25 percent of all occupational-injury accidents involve slips, trips, and falls.1 Causes often include:

  • Failure to properly use equipment
  • Haste
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Inattention
  • Obstacles in walkways
  • Poor lighting and vision
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Unsafe ladder usage

Fortunately, many of these injuries can be avoided by using controls designed to help you recognize slip, trip, and fall hazards at your workplace and determine what preventative safety measures should be taken.
Engineering controls involve evaluating your physical environment and rectifying the hazards that may cause employees to slip, trip, or fall.
2 These controls also include changing processes to ensure that safety is a top priority and verifying that the physical environment at your facility is up to code.
Administrative controls involve critically assessing work procedures and policies, and implementing effective rules, schedules, and training with the goal of reducing employee interaction with potentially hazardous situations over long periods of time. 2 These controls can help change the way people do their jobs through the use of education, training, proper signage, maintenance, correcting poor work practices, regular inspections, and good housekeeping, to name a few. 3 Safe work practices take what the administrative controls propose and turn them into actions that employees and employers should follow. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that at least one third of the nation’s workforce is exposed to hazards that could cause slips, trips, or falls. 4 It is up to both supervisors and employees alike to follow safe work practices and regularly ensure that rules are being followed. Document any problematic areas and the remedial actions taken to address those areas, and ensure documentation includes descriptions of any accidents areas complete as possible.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can help to reduce risks of injury or death in circumstances where there may be an increased risk of slips, trips, or falls. Although there may not be a way to eliminate a hazard in a workplace, PPE can help to control the hazard rather than eliminating it. 3 Utilizing workplace controls to create and maintain a safe work environment is imperative in helping to avoid unnecessary slips, trips, and falls. And remember to respond quickly and appropriately if a slip, trip, or fall does occur.

1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, SOII Data (2017), Table R4. Accessed August 2019.
2 Advanced Consulting and Training LTD. https://advancedct.com/the-measures-for-controlling-slip-trip-and-fall-hazards-atwork/#:~:text=Administrative% 20controls% 20include%20the%20following,sight%20obstruction%20and%20over%2Dreaching
3 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Safety Council – 46E0-HT10. https://www.osha.gov/harwoodgrants/grantmaterials/fy2006/46e0-ht10
4U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 6, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/fatal-and-nonfatal-falls-slips-and-trips-in-the-construction-industry.htm

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