New Grant Collaboration Publishes 72 Safety Best Practices for Mechanical Contracting

Comfort Systems USA Northwest, Central Washington University, Oregon State University and McKinstry partner to improve worker safety by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities

SEATTLE (June 19, 2019) — A new publication—”Safe and Innovative Work Best Practices for Mechanical Crafts”—presents 72 innovations and best practices to increase safety in mechanical contracting, one of America’s most dangerous industries.

Comfort Systems USA Northwest, Central Washington University, Oregon State University and McKinstry partnered to publish the best practices. This three-year effort was made possible through the Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) grant program, administered by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. The published innovations and best practices are available to view or download at no cost.

Employee safety and health continues to be a concern for mechanical contractors (firms involved in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping and mechanical service). Not only are construction injuries a significant cause of humanitarian concern, but the astronomical costs associated with these injuries and deaths are also a motivation for improving safety performance.

Many in the mechanical contracting industry have developed and implemented innovative work practices, but these are too often contained to a single project, a single fabrication shop, or a single crew. Disseminating information about the practices and tools developed by employees to all mechanical contractors will aid in enhancing safety performance throughout the industry.

Each of the included 72 innovations and best practices has been implemented, tested and proven to increase worker safety by mechanical contractors, product manufacturers and general contractors—they can be easily implemented on any work site to improve safety performance. The publication groups these safety best practices into the following categories:

  • Chemicals and personal protective equipment
  • Communication and planning
  • Cuts and impalement
  • Electrical, explosion and fire-related
  • Ergonomic risk factors
  • Fleet safety
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Struck-bys and equipment
  • Work area access and housekeeping

Administered by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), SHIP’s purpose is to fund and support projects that prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This partnership (Grant No. 2016ZH00312) is the first SHIP grant addressing occupational safety and health as it relates to the mechanical construction industry.

Funding and support for this project has been provided by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Safety & Health Investment Projects.

About Comfort Systems USA Northwest

Since its founding in 1984, Comfort Systems USA Northwest has provided quality mechanical services for a variety of projects and customers in the Western Washington Region. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.comfortsystemsusanorthwest.com.

About Central Washington University

CWU is a public, four-year university located in historic Ellensburg, Wash. CWU’s mission is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of university resources.

About Oregon State University

OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its more than 26,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.

About McKinstry

McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. From new construction and ongoing operations to adaptive reuse and energy retrofits, the company provides a single point of accountability across the entire building lifecycle. McKinstry focuses on people and outcomes to ensure the built environment serves owners, operators and occupants alike. McKinstry is your trusted partner for the life of your building.

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