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Fall 2013


The Official Magazine of The Maryland Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

First Steps After Hiring A New Employee Employee Policy Handbooks Personnel Files: What You Need to Know





Fall 2013

Robert Cohen Atlantic Mechanical Owings Mills, MD

Owen M. Knott Knott Mechanical Hunt Valley, MD

Gregory Zollicoffer ZEEMAX Plumbing, Inc. Woodstock, MD

James Hicks Russ’ Plumbing Baltimore, MD

Kevin Mattero AK Mattero, Inc. Deale, MD


Senior Editor - Diane P. Kastner Maryland PHCC Contractor Magazine is the official magazine of The Maryland Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors and is published four times annually. The Maryland PHCC does not necessarily endorse any of the companies advertising in this publication or the views of its writers. Maryland PHCC Contractor Magazine is designed and published by Blue Water Publishers, LLC. Articles and information published in this magazine may not be reproduced without written consent of The Maryland PHCC or Blue Water Publishers, LLC. The publisher cannot assume responsibility for claims made by advertisers and is not responsible for the opinions expressed by contributing authors. For more information on advertising, contact Jim Aitkins Blue Water Publishers, LLC 22727 - 161st Avenue SE, Monroe, WA 98272 360-805-6474 / fax: 360-805-6475 jima@bluewaterpublishers.com

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CONTENTS .......... Big Ideas Are Waiting for You at Connect 2013 - George Kennedy, PHCC National Assoc. Ex VP 4 Welcome Aboard - First Steps After Hiring a New Employee 6 OSHA Fact Sheet - Hazard Communication Standard Final Rule 9 Personnel Files - What You Need to Know 10 I Don’t Understand Why My Workers Compensation Experience Mod Went Up! 12 Employee Policy Handbook 14 Maryland PHCC New Introductory Membership Information 18 Maryland PHCC Membership Application 19 Maryland PHCC 32-Hour Backflow Certification Course Information 20 Maryland PHCC 32-Hour Backflow Certification Course Application 21 Electric Shock 22

OFFICERS 2013 ................... PRESIDENT THOMAS KELLER ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 203-1741 (410) 203-2638 FAX SECRETARY KATHARINE K. STRADLEY ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 442-2221 (410) 442-7626 FAX TREASURER FREDERICK WOLF BALTIMORE, MD (410) 327-4750 (410) 563-1611 FAX SERGEANT AT ARMS TIMOTHY FELDMAN ELKRIDGE, MD (410) 536-5700 (410) 536-5705 FAX

Parts Unlimited 2 Quality Service Contractors 17 Saniflo 15 Slant Fin 13 SureSeal Manufacturing 5 T&S Brass 16 Watts Water Technologies 11

DIRECTORS JIM BERNDT BALTIMORE, MD (410) 254-7473 (410) 256-4787 FAX RONALD MCBEE, SR. BALTIMORE, MD (410) 444-5448 (410) 426-5440 FAX STEVEN M. SCHAEFER WESTMINSTER, MD (410) 876-6825 (410) 857-0011 FAX BRUCE J. SOLOMON REISTERSTOWN, MD (410) 833- 2188 (410) 833-9023 FAX RONALD STIEGLER ELDERSBURG, MD (410) 876-6825











Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor


Big Ideas are Waiting for You at



t seems like CONNECT 2013, PHCC’s annual convention, is coming at a perfect time. New technologies and business strategies are giving companies like yours the upper hand. New opportunities are surfacing, especially in terms of water and energy conservation. And, new regulations are fast approaching. While PHCC always makes it easy to help you stay informed, influence the process, and prepare for upcoming changes, CONNECT puts all those opportunities under one roof. And, what better place to re-energize your business – and yourself – than Las Vegas! I hope you’ll join us at CONNECT 2013, Oct. 16-19, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. We have a comprehensive line-up of big idea sessions and latest technologies that you can take home and put to work for your business immediately. Among the highlights: Best People • Leaders from some of the top partners in the p-h-c industry will deliver big idea sessions on topics you asked for, including online marketing, customer service, new regulations, environmental issues, and more. •

PHCC’s popular Product & Technology Showcase will give you the access to some of the nation’s top manufacturers and service providers who are excited about exchanging ideas on cutting-edge products, technologies, and advancements.

And, your own immediate peer group of PHCC members will be at CONNECT—these “best in the business” p-h-c contractors will be eager to share successes and lessons learned that will help you take your business to the next level.

Best Practices • A keynote address by Forbes publisher and columnist Rich Karlgaard will put you on “The Edge of Innovation.” Karlgaard has interviewed hundreds of companies to see what separates the frontrunners from the stragglers in the tough post-recession economy … and has uncovered some surprising discoveries regarding which business strategies create the most sustainable edge.


A PHCC Certified Water Auditor Course will allow you to expand your market presence and business opportunities. You can learn about the water-energy nexus and how to calculate payback for improvements and repair work, recognize alternate methods and sources, and work within your community to stimulate demand and incentives.

A host of educational sessions will help you

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

break away from “business as usual” with innovative ways to address dramatic changes impacting the p-h-c industry, including new DOE water heater regulations, new online marketing strategies, and a changing workforce.

By Gerry Kennedy PHCC National Association Executive Vice President

Best Place While you’re in Vegas, I hope you’ll take time to participate in the Oct. 19 teambuilding event at the Las Vegas Speedway. Get a crew together and compete as a chapter, as a regional area, or simply to give you and a sponsor bragging rights! Or, join us for a tour that same afternoon at the Hoover Dam or Springs Preserve. All-in-all, it’s sure to be an action-packed conference in a city that pulses with activity and excitement! If you’re not a PHCC member, this would be a perfect opportunity to check out all the association has to offer, as well as meet fellow contractors from all over the nation. For everything you need to know about CONNECT, visit www.phccweb .org/CONNECT. I look forward to seeing you in Vegas!


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Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor


First Steps after Hiring a New Employee


ou have just invested time and energy to get your recruiting process to work well. You are excited about the quality of your new hires. Why then, are you finding that your new employees are not hitting the ground running, seem disengaged, and in some cases leaving all too quickly? The answer lies in the importance of a well structured On-Boarding Program; its impact cannot be underestimated.  Let’s start with some industry research. • “Few companies give much thought to creating the right onboarding experience. Unfortunately, this oversight might be the biggest mistake employers make. New employees are 69% more likely to stay after three years if they’ve experienced a wellstructured on-boarding program.”  - Fast Company • “22% of staff turnover occurs in the first forty-five days of employment. But, new employees who went through a structured on-boarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.” - The Wynhurst Group •  “The cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times salary.” - The Wynhurst Group •  Productivity lost to the learning curve of new hires and transfers: 1-2.5% of total revenue.  - University of Virginia Researcher, Rob Cross •  65% of “best in class” companies cited that on-boarding has the greatest impact on time to productivity. - Aberdeen Group On-Boarding vs. Orientation To date, you have most likely been focused more on orientation than onboarding. You arrange meet and greets and ensure that all the paperwork is completed. Although the atmosphere is one of welcome, the activities [6]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

are mostly tasks for the benefit of your company: signing acknowledgements of policies, filling out emergency contact information, and signing various payment or legal forms. The distinction between orientation and onboarding is an important one. Orientation can be the beginning of onboarding but the actual onboarding is a strategic process that can last up to a year, depending on the position, aimed at a much larger goal – immersing your new employee in your culture and vision. It focuses on experiences rather than tasks.  As a starting point, begin thinking bigger about what On-Boarding is and is not.

Once you have made these mental shifts, you are ready to take action with you new hires. Eight On-Boarding Actions You Can Take Immediately 1. Send new hires a welcome letter and/or package before they start. Do not underestimate the power of making a good first impression.

Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor


2. Announce your new hire to your team. Celebrate what your new hire brings to your company, they will feel immediately valued. 3. Assign a Buddy. Nothing helps more in the early days than having a friend. 4. Develop a three month plan. Let new hires know what they can expect and what you expect: a written plan detailing objectives, strategy, and expectations of future results helps diminish any confusion about a new employee’s job duties and your expectations. 5. Schedule one-on-one time.  Ensure you connect regularly with the new employee. If you can’t do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, schedule meetings to provide feedback at 30 - 60 - 90 day checkpoints, or before a semi-annual review. 6. Clarify the company culture.  To avoid future confusion (or embarrassment), provide the employee with company information, formal policies (including dress code and late policies), and informal norms and behaviors. Your new hire won’t know how to fit into your culture, unless you “show and tell” them. 7. Find opportunities for new hires to experience quick wins. It is an outstanding way for them to build confidence and to feel part of the team.  8. Hold managers accountable for the success of new hire assimilation. Request formal feedback from managers and new hires at the end of 90 days. Take this opportunity to address any issues of concern as well as note any accomplishments so that all parties are confident that the new hire is poised for success in his or her role.   Results You Can Expect When you invest in a well structured approach to On-Boarding, you will reap the benefits.  You can expect to: • Reduce time to productivity. The amount of time it takes a new hires to become fully capable in their job and provide a positive impact to your business.  • Protect your recruiting investment. Cost saving achieved by helping the employee through the first 120 days, the “danger zone” for new hire satisfaction.  Employees quickly feel happily situated and are less likely to make a negative employment continuation decision. •  Reduce costs associated with learning on the job. •  Increases morale.  Not just with your new hire, but your entire team. Conclusion Few activities are as culturally defining as how a company manages the transitions of their people. Transitions, by their very nature, are hard – for new employees and for the team. Think about making improvements to your on-boarding [8]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

process as an opportunity to define your culture as one that recognizes the importance of transitions toward building a foundation for future success. This content was developed for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc. http://www.tpo-inc.com. Please consult your HR professional or attorney for further advice, as laws may differ in each state. Laws continue to evolve; the information presented is as of April 2013. Any omission or inclusion of incorrect data is unintentional. Please note this article is not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for supervisor employment law training. The PHCC Educational Foundation, a partnership of contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers was founded in 1987 to serve the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting the Foundation by making a contribution at http://www.phccfoundation.org/ invest.

Hazard Communication Standard Final Rule


ew changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard are bringing the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), further improving safety and health protections for America’s workers. Building on the success of OSHA’s current Hazard Communication Standard, the GHS is expected to prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives and improve trade conditions for chemical manufacturers. The Hazard Communication Standard in 1983 gave the workers the ‘right to know,’ but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the ‘right to understand.’ The new hazard communication standard still requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the chemicals they produce or import and provide hazard information to employers and workers by putting labels on containers and preparing safety data sheets. However, the old standard allowed chemical manufacturers and importers to convey hazard information on labels and material safety data sheets in whatever format they chose. The modified standard provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets. Benefits: The new standard covers over 43 million workers who produce or handle hazardous chemicals in more than five million workplaces across the country. The modification is expected to prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually. Once fully implemented it will also: • Enhance worker comprehension of hazards, especially for low and limited-literacy workers, reduce confusion in the workplace, facilitate safety training, and result in safer handling and use of chemicals; • Provide workers quicker and more efficient access to information on the safety data sheets; • Result in cost savings to American businesses of more than $475 million in productivity improvements, fewer safety data sheet and label updates and simpler new hazard communication training; and • Reduce trade barriers by harmonizing with systems around the world.

Changes from the Proposed to the Final Rule: OSHA reviewed the record and revised the Final Rule in response to the comments submitted. Major changes include: • Maintaining the disclosure of exposure limits (Threshold Limit Values [TLVs]) established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and carcinogen status from nationally and internationally recognized lists of carcinogens on the safety data sheets; • Clarification that the borders of pictograms must be red on the label; • Flexibility regarding the required precautionary and hazard statements to allow label preparers to consolidate and/or eliminate inappropriate or redundant statements; and • Longer deadlines for full implementation of the standard (see the chart below).

What you need to do and when: Chemical users: Continue to update safety data sheets when new ones become available, provide training on the new label elements and update hazard communication programs if new hazards are identified. Chemical Producers: Review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and safety data sheets.

Rulemaking background: OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update the Hazard Communication Standard in September 2009 and held public hearings in March 2010.

Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard: Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classification of chemical mixtures. Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information. Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the new standard requires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.

Other U.S. Agencies: The Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission actively participated in developing the GHS. DOT has already modified its requirements for classification and labeling to make them consistent with United Nations transport requirements and the new globally harmonized system. Global implementation: The new system is being implemented throughout the world by countries including Canada, the European Union, China, Australia, and Japan. Additional information: More information on the hazard communication standard, including the link to the Federal Register notice, can be found on OSHA’s hazard communication safety and health topics page at www.osha.gov/dsg/ hazcom/index.html. Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor


Personnel Files –

What You Need to Know


ersonnel files are a valuable and necessary tool in any workplace. They are the first line of defense against miscommunication and misunderstanding, as they should provide general information and a record about each employee from the date of hire, through changes and, when the time comes, termination. Retaining the correct information will make it easy to find employee information in one spot and essential if legal requirements or issues arise. The Essential Basics There are three requirements that must be followed in setting up a personnel file structure: 1. Medical/benefits related documents and general employee information must be kept in separate folders, but not necessarily separate files (see table page 2). 2. I-9 forms are not part of the personnel files and must be kept completely separate in their own file or binder. 3. Do not keep investigation materials in personnel files; including the employee complaints, witness interviews, employee interviews, findings, attorney recommendations, and resolutions. This information should be kept in a separate and locked file drawer. Employee Access Protocol Employee records are considered to be the property of the employer. Employee access to personnel files varies by state; check your local laws. Even though it is not likely to be a legal requirement, a good “people” practice is to honor requests to view personnel files using the following guidelines: • Employees must schedule time in advance to view their files with an HR representative - typically employees make a request to see their personnel files when they are troubled by something, and/or upset.  Having time in advance allows you to make sure that the file is in order, organized, contains only the appropriate materials relevant to the folder, and is generally ready to be reviewed. • Always supervise the viewing. • Ensure that the viewing of the personnel file is documented in writing and signed by an HR Representative as well as the employee. • Never provide copies of the contents of the file to the employee without checking with state laws and, if in doubt, seek legal guidance. • A simple request for a copy of a form that they have already received a copy of, like a benefits application form is allowed, of course. Maximum Security Personnel files should be kept in a locked cabinet and office, preferably in an HR office, and access to personnel files should be limited only to those who have a job-related “need to know”.  An HR Representative should be the “gate keeper” to all file documents and only provide the information that is relevant to the request, not the entire file - all access should be under their supervision. [ 10 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

Retention and Purging A legally safe practice is to keep personnel files no less than three years from the date of departure. Keep the most current ones (one year or less) secured in the office and the older ones (more than one year old) in on- or off-site storage. Keep a log to sign and date the personnel files that are purged. Always make sure they are shredded for security. A Good Example You Can Implement Now

Final Word – No Shadow Personnel Files While it is tempting for HR and/or managers to keep files at their desks as a convenience way to keep private notes, don’t do or encourage it. Private employee information is hard enough to keep locked up and all employee documentation /files can be subpoenaed in a legal dispute. This content was developed for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc. (www.tpo-inc.com). Please consult your HR professional or attorney for further advice, as laws may differ in each state. Laws continue to evolve; the information presented is as of July 2013. Any omission or inclusion of incorrect data is unintentional. Please note this article is not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for supervisor employment law training. The PHCC Educational Foundation, a partnership of contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers was founded in 1987 to serve the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting the Foundation by making a contribution at http://www.phccfoundation.org.

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I don’t understand why...

My Workers Compensation Experience Mod Went Up!


tarting in 2013, thousands of employers all over the country could see their workers compensation experience modification factor increase due to a significant change in the way the experience mod is calculated. On the other hand, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) argues that many employers could actually see a decrease in their experience modification factor. How do we make sense of this? Many different factors are used to calculate a company’s workers compensation experience modification factor, including a number of which are out of a business owner’s control. If you have been frustrated with this calculation in the past, then now is the time to start to better manage this very important risk factor that directly affects your insurance premiums. How does it affect you? Let’s explore the major change to the experience mod calculation by defining the term “split point.” In examining your Experience Rating Worksheet, you may have noticed that individual claims appear to be capped at $5,000 (far right column of the report). NCCI considers the first $5,000 of the loss to be the primary amount, and the portion of the loss greater than $5,000 the excess amount. The primary amount (first $5,000) fully

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factors into the experience rating formula, with the excess amount being “discounted.” The current split point ($5,000) will begin increasing in 2013; specific dates vary by state. The scheduled changes are as follows: 2013: The split point will be initially increased to $10,000 2014: The split point will be increased to $13,500 2015: The split point will be increased to $15,000 plus two years of inflation adjustment Basically, the split point changes increase the impact of claims greater than $5,000 on your experience mod factor. Conversely, employers with few or no claims greater than $5,000 will generally see a reduction in their experience mod factor, which essentially rewards companies that more effectively prevent and manage their claims. Why change now? NCCI is making this change because it’s been 20 years since the last split point update.1 Data has shown that the average cost of a claim has tripled in that time. This has led to experience modification factors reflecting less of an individual firm’s actual experience.

What can you do to reduce your experience modification factor? You can’t change your past claims and their effect on your experience modification factor; however, there are a couple of ways you can reduce the negative impact of this change going forward: o


In many states, medical only claims are discounted by 70%*, compared to claims that include lost time (wages). With the increase in split points, that 70% reduction is that much more important. Fully committing and implementing a light duty/ return-to-work program can help keep the claim contained to medical only costs. When is your loss data reported? The data used to calculate your experience modification is sent by the insurer to the rating bureau six months before the insurance renewal date. Three years of data are used to calculate the experience modification, beginning four years prior and not including the current year. For example, an employer with a policy that renewed on January 1, 2012, will generally have an experience modification factor that uses the loss experience for policies that were effective 1/1/08–1/1/09, 1/1/09–1/1/10, and 1/1/10–1/1/11. Call your insurance carrier and request a claims history report seven to eight months before your policy expires. Review the report for open claims and to confirm current information before the data is reported to NCCI. Often, small open claims can be reserved at a higher amount with nothing paid. The reserve amount is reported to NCCI until the claim is closed. Reserves count against your experience modification factor even if nothing has been paid.

Times are changing. Don’t get caught off guard! Now more than ever, it is time to focus on risk management, claims prevention, and claims management so your business can remain competitive and thrive. Whether you are a current client of Federated Insurance or not, contact your local marketing representative to tap into his or her knowledge of the Workers Compensation Experience Modification. *Medical Only discount not available in all states. NCCI does not administer the Experience Rating plans in California, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These states provide their own bureau to administer the Experience Rating Plan. The split point changes discussed above may not apply. In Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, NCCI Experience Rating Plan applies only when the rating also includes an NCCI state. In monopolistic states (North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming), a state agency administers the plans and rates. 1

This article is intended to provide general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention only. There is no guarantee that this information will result in reduced losses, lower premiums, or lower experience modification factors. The content provided is accurate as of June 2012 and is subject to change. This information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state and should not be considered legal advice. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances and applicable state laws. © 2012 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.

Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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EMPLOYEE POLICY HANDBOOKS From the PHCC Educational Foundation


ow many times have you shuffled the development or refinement of an Employee Handbook to the bottom of your to do list? Maybe you should just leave it there – unless you want to:

Better Manage Your Employees The process of writing an employee handbook will bring focus to your people practices before potential disruptive issues steal time and valuable resources from your bottom line. Stay Out of Court The primary legal advantage of having an employee handbook is avoiding court. Readily available written policies offer managers and employees better opportunities to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to contentious, even litigious situations. When everybody knows exactly what the rules are and sees them followed every day, disputes are much less likely to occur. Motivate Your Employees Employees are best motivated when they know exactly what you expect of them and how they can improve their position in the company. Along with sections on employment law, paid time off (PTO), dress codes, and work hours, an employee handbook can include information on how promotions and raises are handled.  This can show employees how their investment of hard work with the company will pay off down the road. With these three goals in mind, the following sections outline a suggested process and content for an Employee Handbook. Process for Developing an Employee Handbook Before you outline the content of the handbook: • Think through and list the expectations for your employees that you want to highlight and how you want to describe what your employees can expect from your company. • Imagine how your culture can be communicated. • Decide who is in the best position to develop the handbook – it must be well written. [ 14 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

Know that the handbook must describe your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees’ rights, so you will need to have your Employee Handbook reviewed by an Employment Law Attorney. Determine how you will introduce the handbook and assess any change management needs.

Avoid Common Pitfalls: • Filling the handbook with too much legal jargon and oodles of fine print. A handbook exists to communicate, not to legislate – be concise and clear. • Writing too formally and without context and/or texture.  Use a casual voice, for example, replace the word “management” with “we” and provide real life examples of the standards of conduct you expect. • Talking down to your employees, not with them. Now that you have been thoughtful about the process and the impression that you want your Employee Handbook to have on your people, it is time to decide what content to include.  The charts below list the standard sections that your Employment Law Attorney will expect to see and suggested sections.  Any additional content is up to you.

Continued on page 16

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• Your handbook cannot collect dust. Employment and labor laws will continue to change rapidly. Technology and innovation and the pressures they will put on the workplace will only intensify. You need to keep pace and be prepared to update your handbook regularly.

You are now ready to jump in and get your Employee Handbook underway. A few final points are worth emphasis: •

You must prepare an Employee Handbook receipt and acknowledgment form for your current and all new employees to sign. This receipt should acknowledge that the employee has read and understands the policies and guidelines presented in the handbook.

When you make changes to the handbook, employees must receive a new copy and again, sign an acknowledgment of receipt.

Be sure to include a disclaimer in the handbook that makes clear that the contents are simply policies and guidelines, not a contract or implied contract with employees – consistent with an “employment at will” statement.

At the end of the day, an Employee Handbook is just that – a collection of written rules. Modeling the behaviors that personify the rules is what matters most. By enforcing your handbook rules, you will defend the integrity of your people who willing comply. This content was developed for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc. (www.tpo-inc.com). Please consult your HR professional or attorney for further advice, as laws may differ in each state. Laws continue to evolve; the information presented is as of August 2013. Any omission or inclusion of incorrect data is unintentional. Please note this article is not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for supervisor employment law training.

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

4/2/13 2:29 PM



‘‘ I have made more progress in the growth,

professionalism and internal communications of my company in the last 10 years as a QSC member than the previous 28 years before that. I only have QSC and everyone associated


with it to thank.

Roger Fouche Schaal Heating & Cooling Des Moines, IA

Our members say it best! Quality Service Contractors (QSC) is an elite professional association that assists plumbing and HVACR service and repair contractors. We help each member reach their potential in our increasingly demanding industry. As a member, you benefit from business management services and state-of-the-art training to enhance your image and enable you to better serve the needs of your clients.

SAVE OVER $950 Join QSC now, get 15 months for the price of 12 Offer ends December 31, 2013. For more information call (800) 533-7694 or e-mail wallace@naphcc.org Fall 2013 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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k c o h S c ri

t c e El


lectricity is one of the most valuable resources in today’s living. You cannot see, hear or smell electricity, yet it is so powerful it can hurt of even kills you. Since electricity is so much a part of our lives, we must learn to apply safe work practices when using it.

At Home or At Work Electricity does not discriminate! Electricity is always seeking a path to ground and if you become a part of that path, you could get a bad shock or be killed. Electric shock is a common cause of injury, both at work and home. Safe work practices should always be applied when working with or around electric power tools, appliances, light fixtures, and machinery. Familiarize yourself with the safe operating instructions for all the electrical devices that you use. This can be accomplished by reading the manufacturer’s safe operation guide. Children should be taught the dangers of electricity and instructed to avoid “playing” with electrical appliances. Electric shock can be fatal regardless of the level of voltage. The severity of shock is measured by the amount of current flowing through the body, the path the current takes through the body, and the length of time the body is in contact with the current. The human body is a very good conductor of electricity due to the body’s water content. Safety Precautions Here are some basic safety precautions to remember when working with electricity: • Inspect power cords regularly and replace when needed; • Always use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) around areas where there is water, i.e., bathrooms, kitchens, deep sinks or outside; • Wear rubber-soled shoes and safety gloves when operating power tools, replaces fuses or working where is a possibility of electric shock; • Use double insulated tools; • Utilize nonconductive tools and ladders; • Use rubber floor matting, when available; • Clean and inspect tools when the job is finished; • When working outside, look up to be sure you will not come in contact with power lines; • Never use electric appliances or tools around water; • Do not use power tools with defective or broken insulation; • Always disconnect the power source before repairing electrical equipment; • Do not overload circuits; • Never remove the grounding wire on a three-pronged cord; • Do not assume you have unplugged an electrical device (check it to be sure); and • Do not leave electric devices where small children may have access. Always check your tools and appliances before using them. If a tool is defective, get a new one. If you are at work, revoke the tool from service, tag it, and report it to the proper authority. Using good safety precautions when working with or around electricity will reduce the risks of electrical shock and may even save your life. Remember to practice safety. Don’t learn it by accident. [ 22 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Fall 2013

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Maryland PHCC Contractor, Fall 2013  


Maryland PHCC Contractor, Fall 2013