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Recap of National Roofing Week 2024

June started with a bang as we celebrated National Roofing Week, presented by NRCA. June 2nd through 8th was spent showcasing our projects, community involvement, and hard-working employees. This year, we celebrated a different theme each day: Signature Projects, Charity Projects, Employee Appreciation, Employee Training, and Celebration.

Monday – Signature Projects:

We proudly showcased several impactful projects we completed in the past year. The first of these signature projects is Lake Trust Credit Union in Brighton, MI, a sheet metal and TPO roof project with incredible architectural design. The next project is Edgewood Country Club, a shingle roofing project in Commerce Charter Twp, MI. Lastly, the Catholic Central Stem Building in Novi, MI, is a slate, green roof and paver system project for the Detroit Catholic Central School. Each of these projects demonstrates our expertise and contribution to the communities we serve.  

Tuesday – Charity Projects:

Annually, we proudly sponsor multiple organizations that do important work. Some of those organizations include Bennett’s Beavers, Clara’s Hope, Hudson Mills Old Power Club, and Reaching Higher. Additionally, this year, we donated and helped roof a barn at the new Freedom River Veteran Recreational Center in Livingston County, MI. Also, we continue to support Cleary University in many aspects, from academics to athletics. Our commitment to giving back to our community is a testament to our values, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue doing so. 

Wednesday – Employee Appreciation:

Our company’s success directly results from our employees’ dedication and hard work. During National Roofing Week, we took the opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to every one of our team members. We showed our gratitude by providing lunch for our entire staff. Pizzas were delivered to around 10 job sites for our roofing and sheet metal employees, while the service, shop, and office staff enjoyed breakfast sandwiches and a small pizza party. Our staff is the backbone of CEI, and expressing our appreciation is a small way to thank them for their continuous efforts. 

Thursday – Employee Training:

Training is very important in any industry, especially construction because we deal with dangerous and unique working conditions. That is why a top priority at CEI is to train our staff on safe work practices. Over the past year, our employees have undergone comprehensive training programs, including CPR training, OSHA 30, ladder safety, defensive driving, and RTF and MEWP training. These programs have equipped our employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure their safety and the quality of our work. 

Friday – National Roofing Week Celebration:

To wrap up National Roofing Week, we decided to celebrate by gifting our employees National Roofing Week T-shirts designed by Libby Cook. These T-shirts symbolize our pride in the roofing industry and our appreciation for our employees’ hard work. National Roofing Week allows us to recognize the importance of the roofing industry in all aspects while having fun. We are honored to be able to give our employees something to show our appreciation and to celebrate the week.

Heat Illness Prevention: How to Prevent Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion While at Work

Heat illnesses like heat stroke and exhaustion should not be taken lightly. As roofers, our daily exposure to heat is a significant risk. Roofs, with their ability to absorb heat, can reach temperatures up to 170° F, surpassing the outside temperature. This means that you’re still at risk even if you’re not working directly under the sun. However, the good news is that heat-related illnesses are preventable. Here are some essential tips for keeping yourself healthy and preventing summer heat illnesses!

Types of Heat Illnesses

Heat cramps 

Heat cramps are often the first sign of heat illness, resulting in dehydration and a lack of electrolytes. Painful muscle spasming or cramping, usually in the arms, legs, and abdomen, is the most obvious sign of heat cramps and excessive sweating.

Heat Exhaustion

If you are experiencing heat exhaustion, your body is overheating and cannot properly cool due to a lack of salts and fluids. Someone with heat exhaustion will exhibit excessive sweating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and headache. The excessive sweating associated with heat exhaustion is especially problematic because the body is already dehydrated and cannot replace the fluids lost through sweating, worsening the condition.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat illness, arising from untreated heat exhaustion or independently.

When heat stroke occurs, the body has overheated to the point where the organs malfunction and shut down. The brain swells, the intestines become more permeable, and the blood vessels dilate, causing blood pressure to drop. On the outside, a person experiencing heat stroke will display a fever, dry and hot skin, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, confusion, agitation, and lethargy.

Extreme cases might even result in seizures or a coma. Note that once a person has reached the heat stroke level, they stop sweating excessively and show dry, hot skin. This is because the body has become dehydrated to the point where it can no longer produce sweat to cool itself down, and it marks a significant progression from heat exhaustion to heat stroke. If you or someone else is experiencing a heat stroke, call 911 immediately, start cooling that person down with water and ice, and remove unnecessary clothes. 

Signs Of Heat Illnesses

There are common signs and symptoms to watch while working in extreme heat conditions.

  • Cramps and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Heavy sweating or hot, dry skin
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output

If you or someone you see are experiencing these symptoms, take action by:

  • Give them water to drink
  • Move them to a cooler area
  • Cool them with water, ice, or a fan
  • Remove unnecessary clothing
  • Do not leave them alone
  • If in doubt, call 911 or seek medical care

Tips to Prevent Heat Illnesses

  • Drink water before, during, and after work. Avoid energy drinks or sodas while working in the heat or direct sun, as these can quickly dehydrate you.
  • Take your break in the shade or cool area. Find a cool, air-conditioned, or shaded area on lunch and breaks. If someone or yourself is beginning to experience heat exhaustion or cramps, it’s a good time to take a break to cool off and rehydrate!
  • Dress appropriately for the heat. Even if the morning is cooler, wear layers that you can take off for warmer afternoons!
  • Understand your risks when it comes to heat! Working indoors and outdoors can put you at risk for heat illnesses. 

Now that you know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses, you can better prevent them at work. Watch out for yourself and your crew members during these summer months! 

Resources:

Foster, K. (2019, June 19). Heat Illness Prevention: Keeping Your Roofing Crews Safe. AccuLynx. https://acculynx.com/keep-your-roofing-crew-safe-from-heat-illness/

Prevent Heat Illness at Work Ways to Protect Yourself, and Others Ease into Work. Nearly 3 out of 4 fatalities from heat illness happen during the first week of work. (n.d.). https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/3431_wksiteposter_en.pdf

Tips for Driving Safely in Winter Weather Conditions

Cars driving on a highway are stuck in traffic because of a snowstorm.

We all know that winter weather can cause hazardous road conditions. Whether snow, sleet, or ice, preparing yourself – and your vehicle – for the winter weather is vital to making winter driving as easy as possible. We found a few tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for winter weather driving.

The Basics

Most importantly, slow down! Controlling or stopping your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface is more challenging. Increase the distance between you and others ahead so you have plenty of time to stop your car. 

Also, don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside the truck. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay far enough behind it and use caution if you pass the plow.

What to Do in an Emergency?

If your car gets stopped or stalled, be sure to focus on you and your surroundings. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Stay in your vehicle, and don’t overexert yourself. 
  • Let your vehicle be seen. Turn on your emergency flashers, put bright markers on the antenna or windows, and keep the interior dome light on. 
  • Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow, and run your car just long enough to stay warm. Don’t run your car for long periods with the windows up or in an enclosed space.

Prepare Your Vehicle 

  • Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flasher, and interior lights. 
  • During the winter, you can quickly go through windshield wiper fluid. Be sure to fill your reservoir with “winter” fluid with de-icer before winter snowfall. Also, check your windshield wipers to see if they need to be replaced. Consider heavy-duty windshield wipers!
  • Make sure your vehicle has enough coolant. If not, check the cooling system for leaks, test the coolant, and drain or replace the old coolant. 
  • Also, it is always a good idea to visit your mechanic to check your vehicle for the basics –  oil changes, tire rotations, leaks, and any need for replacements or repairs.

Lastly, before you go out, make sure you gas up, stock your car with essential items – like ice scrapers and emergency kit, and plan your route.  

As always, ensure you are safe when driving in extreme winter weather. Go slow and be aware of your surroundings and other vehicles! 

References

Insurance Information Institute. (2020). Driving in winter? Be prepared and stay safe | III. Iii.org. https://www.iii.org/article/winter-driving

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022). Winter Weather Driving Tips | NHTSA. Www.nhtsa.gov. https://www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-tips

Looking to 2024 – New Year, New Opportunities, New Work!

Happy New Year, and Welcome to 2024!

CEI will look to expand and grow this year as new projects, opportunities, and even challenges are brought to us! We want to share a special note from our very own President, Eric Cook, that reflects on 2023 and looks into 2024.

Hello there from the President,

2023 for CEI was one of the best years we have had. We want to thank many people, including a hard-working staff of employees and their families, for helping CEI get there! We were able to work about 18% more hours than last year, thanks to Mother Nature for a big part of that, as well as our estimators, who did a great job getting the work that we needed to be able to do that!

CEI is looking at 2024 and is working towards being able to do the same or even better than 2023. We have lined up a great amount of work for 2024 already and are working hard to find even more. With that being said, CEI wants to thank you for a great year, and we are looking forward to the next trip around the sun with all of you.

Please remember that together, we make CEI Rock!

Happy New Year,
The Prez
Eric Cook

Career Opportunities: Operating Engineers Local Union 324 Apprenticeship Application

CEI has and always will be a big supporter of the trades and career education in any of the trades field. Being a business that relies on these skilled workers to keep our business running we are constantly trying to promote job training, apprenticeship and career opportunities.

CEI is partnered with three unions in the southeastern Michigan area. Those three unions include Roofers Local Union 149, Metal Workers Local Union 80, and Operating Engineers Local Union 324. Local Union 324 supports heavy equipment operators and heavy equipment technicians. CEI uses this union to staff crane operators and semi-truck drivers to assist on the high profile and complex projects that CEI takes on.

An operator is a key role in CEI’s team. Without them, CEI would not be able to innovate and construct the highest of quality for there projects. Operators keep CEI’s jobs running smooth and on-time by allowing flexibility to the schedule. Having our own trucks and cranes allows CEI to be autonomous and not always having to worry about rentals and subcontractors to do the work. Along with owning our own equipment, credit goes to the well-trained operators that CEI hires from local 324. CEI is excited to promote a great opportunity for anyone looking into working in this trade.

June 10th- June 14th, 2019 Local Union 324 is taking applications for there Apprenticeship program. This opportunity is provided for anyone 17 or older with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Other requirements include a valid Michigan drivers license and reliable transportation. Applications are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information:
https://www.oe324.org/training/2019application/

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
As the year begins we want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and be thankful for the support of our loyal customers, employees, and partners in business. We wouldn’t be here without you. We also would like to announce that 2019 is CEI Michigan, LLC’s 50th year in business. For the past 50 years, we have worked hard to provide our customers with integrity, reliability, and service that is unparalleled, and are excited to continue to serve our community in for the next 50 years.
This is a big year for CEI Group and we are ready to celebrate! Aside, from the normal excitement of a new year, planning, getting new work, etc. We are planning fun events to celebrate all year. The biggest being the 50th-year celebration this spring/summer. Other things in the works are:
  • Wrap-Up 2018 Video – Coming Soon!
  • Annual Company Kick-Off Meeting in February.
  • 50th Year Festival for our team and their families
  • NRCA’s National Roofing Week 
  • + So much more. 
Cheers to another great year! If you have any questions now or into the New Year, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help.
Stay tuned! 2019 is going to rock!

Photo of the Month: July 2018

Every month we host a photo of the month. All of the photos are taken and sent in by our staff. This month we focused on the efforts of our safety department. Our photo of the month came from one of the monthly safety meetings that we have at CEI. We get together all of our field staff and some of our office staff to discuss various safety measures.

#NATIONALROOFINGWEEK: Picking a Professional Roofing Contractor

National Roofing Week is coming to a close today! CEI wanted to close out the week with a blog post on the main topic of the week, which is to stress the value of a professional roofer for any project.

CEI is a member of the NRCA. This gives us access to leading industry education, safety information, and programs to keep our company serving at high-quality standards. The NRCA is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice of roofing professional. They are a large source of information for CEI and we are proud to be a member. CEI is a lead company in the commercial roofing industry in the mid-west. Yet, the NRCA has a focus on both the commercial and residential roofing industry’s. It is important to search out a quality roofing contractor, no matter what your project is so that it gets done right the first time. Often times our blog post are more suited for a building owner looking for information but when it comes to selecting a contractor the guidelines can be followed by both home and building owners.

NRCA has consumer-focused resources. Their main source is a blog that is focused on helping consumers be educated on there roof and roofing contractors (everyoneneedsaroof.com). Through their resources, they touch on a hand-full of things to look for in a roofing contractor. To help spread awareness, CEI has compiled the resources for customers on the Roofer Madness Blog. As a company, we want to provide customers with the quality resources to help them make their contractor selection. The following list of qualifications that your roofing contractor should have according to the NRCA’s consumer advisory bulletin.

  • Permanent place of business
  • Knowledge of roofing systems
  • Affiliated with an industry organization
    • Ex: NRCA or any other local, state or national organization
  • Committed to education
  • Insured and committed to safety
  • Licensed and bonded
  • Financial Stability
  • Application expertise
  • Insist on a written proposal
  • Warranties
  • Completed projects list
  • References
  • Provisions for on-site supervision
  • Professional maintenance program

The video below was created by the NRCA to help explain these points. You can also read more from the NRCA here or visit http://www.everybodyneedsaroof.com/

 

The Insight: Safety Segment

In the last couple weeks, CEI had their monthly safety meeting. Safety concerns for roofing can come both on and off the roof.  With 12 service trucks on the road, it is always important that we stress safety when driving.
The crew members reviewed some of the basics in safe driving techniques, being in control of the vehicle, being aware of the drivers around you, distracted driving and being courteous on the road. That way they are prepared for anything on the road.
Having our crews be safe drivers protects…
·        Our crews and workers
·        Company vehicles or materials
·        Most importantly, other people on the road.
As we prepare for the busy roofing season, we understand the importance of safety throughout the entire work day and pride ourselves on limiting job site accidents. In 2018 we are striving to achieve even higher safety standards.

The Insight: CEI’s 2018 Motto

In the past couple of years, CEI has started the year off with an annual kick-off meeting. Every year there has been a theme or motto that the company has carried throughout the year. 2018’s meeting is still in the works and is scheduled for April 15th but the theme is picked.

This years theme is Everything Counts!

It is broad and is most literally about everything but it is important and a great theme to kick of the year. 2016 and 2017 we some of CEI’s best years and looking forward, they are striving for even better. When it comes down to it, growing a business can be all about the details. It is important to pay attention to everything to achieve excellence.

The theme is inspired and loosely based on a book called Everything Counts! by Gary Ryan Blaire. Blaire has worked to help clients reach their goals and be more successful in many areas. His book provides a golden rule to excellence.

His rule is-

“Everything Counts! Everything you say; every thought you entertain; and everything you do has direction, which serves as an advance or a retreat in respect to your pursuit of excellence. Everything, regardless of size or intent, has bottom-line consequences; therefore, everything counts!”

The book goes into many small detailed aspects to define “everything”, the managers and partners at CEI have narrowed it down to there best 4 aspects to discuss with their teams; Quality Counts, Every Customer Counts, Every Detail Counts and Failure Counts.

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