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Heat Safety for Roofers

The weather is going to be getting extremely hot in the upcoming month. Being informed on how to properly work in the heat is more than important. The weather in the following weeks is looking to reach record high’s. Roofers are placed out in the sun high up with often times nothing to cool them off, no shade and a hot roof. This can make for an even hotter environment. Being informed about taking care of yourself and your crew in these conditions is important for making a safe and productive job site.

  • Stay Hydrated- This means drinking lots of water (even if you are not thirsty) and avoiding sugary or caffeinated beverages because they speed up dehydration. According to NERI, 1 quart of water per employee per hour is ideal.
  • Sun Protection- Wear sunscreen and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Get out of the sun- during breaks sit in the shade or someplace with air conditioning. Those not accustomed to the heat should take more frequent breaks or limit the amount of physically demanding work.
  • Sunglasses- make sure you are protecting your eyes from the sun with a proper pair of sunglasses.
  • Know the sign and symptoms of heat sicknesses- Watch out for your fellow crew members and help them if they show any signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Illness (From NERI Insurance Group) 
Heat Rash:
Heat rash occurs when the skin’s sweat glands are blocked and the
sweat cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate. This causes
inflammation which results in a rash, which appears as reddened skin
with tiny blisters. It often occurs in skin creases or areas where your
clothing is tight against your skin restricting air circulation.
Common symptoms of heat rash included; red bumps on the skin
and an itchy or prickly feeling to the skin, also known as prickly heat.
Heat rash will usually fade away when the skin is allowed to cool.
Medical treatment is only necessary if the area becomes infected.
To avoid heat rash, try and avoid or minimize the duration of time spent in hot and/or humid
conditions, wearing loose-fitting clothing and use air conditioning or fans to allow air to circulate
over your skin.
Heat Cramps:
Heat cramps are an intermittent, involuntary spasm of larger muscles which occur in individuals
who are physically active in hot weather conditions. While heat cramps are the least serious
form of the heat-related illnesses they still may be very painful and also serve as the first
a warning sign or symptom that you are suffering from heat exposure.
The primary symptom of heat cramps is profuse sweating with involuntary spasms of the large
muscles in the body and could also be the first sign that you’re suffering from heat exhaustion.
Heat cramps most often affect the lower extremities and abdominal cavity.
The treatment for
heat cramps include; rest, cooling the body, hydration and stretching the muscles that are
cramping.
To prevent against heat cramps, try and avoid or minimize the duration of time spent
performing physical activities in the heat, drink plenty of water and rest in a cool or shaded
area.
Heat Exhaustion:
Heat exhaustion is often caused by ignoring the signs of heat cramps and can quickly
progress to heat stroke. This occurs when the body’s temperature regulation fails. The person
often exhibits a change in their mental status, becomes confused, lethargic and may even suffer
a seizure. When experiencing the effects of heat exhaustion, the skin stops producing sweat
and their body temperature significantly rises. This is a life-threatening condition and
immediate emergency medical attention is required. Additional signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include; profuse sweating (at its earliest stage), weakness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps.
Treatment for heat exhaustion starts with being able to recognize the signs and symptoms, stopping the activity you were performing, moving to a cooler environment and rehydration with water or a sports drink which is high in electrolytes. Rehydrating yourself is the most crucial treatment procedure for heat exhaustion.
Heat Stroke:
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, in which the body temperature is elevated dramatically.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not promptly and properly treated.
Heat stroke is caused by an elevation in body temperature, often accompanied by dehydration.
The signs and symptoms of heat stroke are; confusion, agitation, disorientation, the absence of
sweating and coma. The most effective way to prevent against heat stroke is to stay hydrated
and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat cramps to avoid reaching
the level where heat stroke will come into play. If anyone is exhibiting the signs of heat stroke
911 MUST be called immediately, as it’s a matter of life and death.

Project Spotlight: Kreeger Elementary School

The Fowlerville School District proposed a bond to go to vote in May of 2018. They are using the money to improve many of the schools building. They are a focusing on repairs for “Boilers, classrooms, instructional technology, and athletic fields”, according to a report from WHMI. Yet, the biggest project was replacing the shingle roof on Kreeger Elementary that was long due for repair.

CEI started the project in the middle of May. It is their first shingle roof project in over 10 years, making this an exciting project. The job included a full shingle tear off and replacement, as well as an addition of custom ridge vents fabricated by CEI’s sheet metal shop.  Kreeger is a good change and gives the crews something different to work on. In the last 4 weeks, CEI has completed about half the reroof. They are still pushing forward as we begin to craft the ridge vents. The project is set to be done by August. 

 

CEI Insight: Stretch and Flex Program

Workplace stretching programs are on the rise and a new hot topic for the construction industry. Roofers and other construction employees are often subjected to routine movements, heavy lifting, and strenuous body positions. This daily wear and tear can leave employees with pain and discomfort. After years of being in the industry, this can result in soreness and injury. A 2018 goal for CEI was to craft and implement a Stretch and Flex Program for our employees. Our program was recently launched, checking that goal off of our list!

Benefits of Stretching

  1. Flexibility
  2. Promotes Strong, Health Muscles
  3. Improves Joint Range of Motion
  4. Improves Performance in Physical Activities

Most of the benefits of stretching come from developing better flexibility. Being flexible and having long and lean muscles can result in prevention of injury and can reduce pain. Athletes do it all the time, they focus on muscle groups specific to the sport to stretch and strengthen the ones that are actively used. Our workers do just as much as most athletes, they bend, lift, climb carry and so much more. Why shouldn’t they have the same routine of stretching? The answer is that they should! Stretching before doing physical work can only help.

CEI’s Daily Stretching Routine

As a new add-on to our safety program, all field and service crews are required to perform a daily stretching routine every morning before getting on the job. This is to length and strength there muscles before getting to the physically demanding part of their day. Most of the crews enjoy it and believe they feel better after doing it. Each morning on the job, the foreman host a huddle with the crew. In this huddle, they talk about the day’s event and go through there checklist together. Before this program, they would head onto the roof after that was complete. Now that this has been put in place the foreman leads the stretching session with the entire crew. Every day he goes through the same stretching checklist and signs-off that the crew participated in the Stretch and Flex program. Since this has gone into place, office staff have also taken to doing the stretches. They believe that it helps them stay loose and not get sore from sitting or working on a computer all day. It also allows them to break up there day and add some movement.

CEI’s Stretch and Flex Program-

  1. Neck stretch
  2. Quad Stretch
  3. Calf Stretch
  4. Inner Thigh/Groin Stretch
  5. Chest Pull
  6. Forearm and Wrist Stretch
  7. Shoulder Stretch
  8. Lower Back Stretch

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

CEI Sponsorship: Hudson Mills Old Power Club

For 3 years, CEI has helped sponsor the Hudson Mills Old Power Club in their annual tractor pull. With the sponsorship, the company gets entry into the pull. Nick Bosworth- a CEI foreman and member of the HMOPC participated in the pull this year. Last year, CEI’s employee Ron Skrzypek competed and won the pull in CEI’s name. Coming back as defending champions from 2017 pull, CEI came in and won the pull for the 2nd year in a row.

An exciting and fun sponsorship for CEI! They received a plack to hang in the office next to last years.

#NATIONALROOFINGWEEK- Employee Training

Happy National Roofing Week to everyone! Yesterday we kicked off with a wonderful employee appreciation day! All of the  CEI team had got pizza or breakfast delivered to them as a token of our appreciation. It was a great start to an exciting week.

Every day this week has a theme or focus to be talked about. Today’s (Tuesday) focus is on Employee Training!

A key part of being a quality roofing professional is ensuring that all members of your team are properly trained. CEI focuses its training efforts in two major areas; safety training and job skills training.

Safety Training

CEI started a bigger push on safety about 7 years ago.

“We had a couple of tough safety years before that and there was also a big push from our Consumers to step up safety. It had always been something we did, but we started to make it something we live everyday.” -Kristine Cook Lindsey, Vice President

CEI always met safety regulations but after those couple of years, they decided it was going to be one of their main goals to excel in safety. They posted a large board that read “Days since an accident”. The goal was to publish what was happening in regards to safety and make everyone responsible for safety on the job.

Joe Fulton- CEI Safety Director

In 2011, they added a full-time Safety Director to there team. He was tasked with keeping up with regulations and revamping the training program.

Jacob Rosiek- CEI Safety Manager

CEI safety standards started to grow and in 2016 they added another full-time position to the Safety Department, a Safety Manager.

 

 

 

In 2017, CEI was awarded the NERI safety excellence award for there efforts. Today, CEI’s safety training looks like this.

  • Monthly Foreman Safety Committee Meetings- To review how the company is doing and identify where and how to improve. Critical feedback from the field participation is key in these meetings.
  • Six Company Wide Safety Meetings- Every other month there is a different focus presented by our Safety Director or we bring in guest speakers to keep safety in the minds of the Foremen.
  • Weekly Toolbox Talks- These also focus on important safety issues but are run by the Foremen to stimulate discussion on safety and provide training opportunities for our crews.
  • Daily Hazard Identification Checklists
  • All Foremen are required to be 30hr OSHA Certified 
  • All other workers are encouraged to be at least 10hr OSHA Certified 
  • CEI’s insurance group also has its own Safety Requirements that CEI is annually audited on.

Job Skills Training

The other focus area for training is skills training. CEI as a union contractor is supportive of apprenticeship programs that serve to develop skilled professional Roofing and Architectural Sheet Metal Journeymen. Some of the ways that CEI supports skills development are-

  • Manufacturer Training-  CEI is certified in almost every type of roofing system. CEI sees this as a way to open doors for new and interesting projects. We want to know how to do it all so we can take on any project start to finish.
  • Local 70 Union Block Training- CEI helps support their local union by participating in block training programs. They often help with the Crane and Lift classes.
  • Employ apprentices- To provide critical field training experience

Photo of the Month: May

CEI has asked their staff to send in picture and videos of the job sites and happenings around the company. These help us build content for social media and our website. Each month we will be sharing the best or most interesting photo that was sent in by one of our employees. This is also an edition of our company newsletter that goes out internally to all of our employees.

May is the first month that we are starting to add the photo of the month contest. You will be able to view all the monthly photos in our gallery on the Roofer Madness Blog.

May Photo of the Month-

This months photo was sent in by Kristine Lindsey who is our Vice President. She often attends the monthly safety meeting to connect with the foreman and crews on extra safety training. She snapped this (and many more) photos from May’s safety meeting. CEI was visited by Guardian Fall Protection who showed off some different safety equipment and gave a couple short demonstrations.

2018 Michigan Historical Preservation Award

A CEI sheet metal project was honored with the 2018 Michigan Historical Preservation Award. CEI along with the rest of the teams on the restoration project were all presented with the award at the end of March. The specific award given to the project was the Preservation Gem Award.  This award is given to completed projects within the last three years that focused on restoring one element of a building. This meaning the entire building is not being restored at the same time. CEI was a project participant on the restoration of the copper lanterns at University of Michigan’s West Hall. CEI worked hard to recreate the Lanterns at their in-house sheet metal shop and then installed them on-site.

MHPN featured the honorees on their facebook page last week.

They wrote,

“Today’s featured award is the West Hall Lantern Restoration, winner of a 2018 Preservation Gem Award. The lanterns marking the Denison Archway on the Albert Kahn-designed West Hall are one of the most prominent landmarks on the University of Michigan campus, ushering students onto the historic Diag since 1904. The copper-clad lanterns had suffered from weathering over the years, making restoration a priority for the University. The original copper cladding was carefully removed, restored, and re-installed over reconstructed and structurally strengthened framing, ensuring the longevity of these iconic lanterns. The restoration of the West Hall Lanterns is a fitting example of a building owner making the investment in a building to preserve its aesthetic and historic character for future generations.

Project team:

Owner: University of Michigan
Engineer: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
General Contractor: Krull Construction
Sheet Metal Fabricator and Installer: CEI Group Michigan”

Leaks Playing Tricks?

Here at CEI we have years of service and have fixed hundreds (if not, thousands) of leaks all year round. We understand that when customers see water starting to drip from there ceilings they always assume it is the roof.

Well, we are here to tell you that it is not ALWAYS the roof!

Many times it is the roof, there are punctures or ware in the roof and the leak is the result. Yet, sometimes (and more commonly than you think) leaks from above your head might have nothing to do with your roof.

Other factors that could contribute to a leak could be

– Plumbing

– Duct Work

– HVAC

and these are only a few.

Regardless, of where the leak is coming from it is always important to get it checked out by a professional. Roofers will be able to identify if the roof is the source of the problem and point you in the right direction if it is not. Scheduling regular maintenance for your roof with prevent leaks in the future. CEI recommends getting your roof inspected every 6 months (Spring and Fall). This can help lengthen the life of your roof and prevent expensive damage.

Tax Cuts on Re-Roofing Projects!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by Congress in December 2017 expands the definition of qualified real property eligible for full expensing under Section 179 of the tax code to include improvements to nonresidential roofs. Following is more information about Section 179 and the provision to add nonresidential roofs as qualifying property as of Jan. 1, 2018. This information will help you determine if your company is eligible for this preferential tax treatment of improvements to your nonresidential roof.
Section 179
Section 179 allows taxpayers to immediately expense the cost of qualifying property rather than recovering such costs over multiple years through depreciation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly expands the expensing limits under Section 179, with the maximum amount a business may expense now set at $1 million and the phase-out threshold increasing to $2.5 million. These new limits are effective for qualifying property placed in service in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and the amounts will be indexed for inflation starting in 2019.
Addition of Roofs as Qualifying Property
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands the definition of qualified real property eligible for Section 179. As of Jan. 1, 2018, qualifying a property for Section 179 includes “improvements to nonresidential real property placed in service after the date such property was first placed in service: roofs; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning property; fire protection and alarm systems; and security systems.”
Given these changes to Section 179 by the new tax law, qualifying taxpayers may now elect to fully expense the cost of any improvements to nonresidential roofs beginning in 2018 and in future years. Essentially, any improvements to nonresidential roofs, including full reroofs of existing buildings, may now be expensed in the year of purchase by any taxpayer eligible to deduct expenses under Section 179.
Please contact us (or contact your tax professional) if you have questions regarding how your company can take advantage of this more favorable tax treatment for improvements to nonresidential roofs in 2018.
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