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Is your facility ready to reopen?

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Is your facility ready to be re-opened to the general public? The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Health released the attached article “Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration” offering considerations for water service restoration, to minimize risks associated with water quality degradation related to stagnant water conditions.

OEPA ODH Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration (1)

Let TEAM MSD know how we can help from system design, installation or planned maintenance programs customized to protecting your ongoing facility needs.



Ventilation in Buildings

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CDC recommends a layered strategy to reduce exposures to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This includes using multiple mitigation strategies with several layers of safeguards to reduce the spread of disease and lower the risk of exposure. While it may not be necessary to apply every consideration to be protective, implementing multiple mitigation strategies is recommended, if possible, to improve effectiveness. In addition to ventilation, the layered approach includes efforts to improve social distancingwearing face masks, and hand hygiene.

SARS-CoV-2 viral particles spread between people more readily indoors than outdoors. When outdoors, the concentration of viral particles rapidly reduces with the wind, even a very light wind.  When indoors, ventilation mitigation strategies help to offset the absence of natural wind and reduce the concentration of viral particles in the indoor air. The lower the concentration, the less likely some of those viral particles can be inhaled into your lungs; contact your eyes, nose, and mouth; or fall out of the air to accumulate on surfaces. Protective ventilation practices and interventions can reduce the airborne concentration, which reduces the overall viral dose to occupants.

Below is a list of ventilation interventions that can help reduce the concentration of virus particles in the air, such as SARS-CoV-2. They represent a list of “tools in the mitigation toolbox,” each of which can be effective on their own.  Implementing multiple tools at the same time is consistent with CDC mitigation strategies and increases overall effectiveness. These ventilation interventions can reduce the risk of exposure to the virus and reduce the spread of disease, but they will not eliminate risk completely.

While the list of tools is intended to be universally applicable across indoor environments, applying them to different building types, occupancies, and activities under environmental and seasonal changes can be challenging. The specific combination of tools chosen for use at any point in time can change. It will be up to the building owner/operator (obtaining expert consultation as needed) to identify which tools are appropriate for each building throughout the year. CDC also has information on Ventilation in Schools and Child Care Facilities.

Considerations to Improve Ventilation

Consider ventilation system upgrades or improvements and other steps to increase the delivery of clean air and dilute potential contaminants. Obtain consultation from experienced Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professionals when considering changes to HVAC systems and equipment.  Some of the recommendations below are based on  Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemicpdf iconexternal icon from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). In addition to buildings, ventilation considerations are also important when you have multiple persons within vehicles, including public transportation (buses, subways, trains, school buses, carpools, and rideshares). Not all considerations are applicable for all scenarios.

Ventilation improvements may include some or all of the following considerations:

  • Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas.
  • When weather conditions allow, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling, triggering asthma symptoms) to occupants in the building.
  • Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows. To safely achieve this, fan placement is important and will vary based on room configuration. Avoid placing fans in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person over another. One helpful strategy is to use a window fan, placed safely and securely in a window, to exhaust room air to the outdoors. This will help draw fresh air into room via other open windows and doors without generating strong room air currents.
  • Decrease occupancy in areas where outdoor ventilation cannot be increased.
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
  • Increase airflow to occupied spaces when possible.
  • Turn off any demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on occupancy or temperature during occupied hours. In homes and buildings where the HVAC fan operation can be controlled at the thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of “auto,” which will operate the fan continuously, even when heating or air-conditioning is not required.
  • Open outdoor air dampers beyond minimum settings to reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold, hot, or humid weather.
  • Improve central air filtration:
    • Increase air filtration external icon to as high as possible without significantly reducing design airflow.
    • Inspect filter housing and racks to ensure appropriate filter fit and check for ways to minimize filter bypass.
    • Check filters to ensure they are within their service life and appropriately installed.
  • Ensure restroom exhaust fans are functional and operating at full capacity when the building is occupied.
  • Inspect and maintain local exhaust ventilation in areas such as kitchens, cooking areas, etc. Operate these systems any time these spaces are occupied. Consider operating these systems, even when the specific space is not occupied, to increase overall ventilation within the occupied building.
  • Consider portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to help enhance air cleaning (especially in higher risk areas such as a nurse’s office or areas frequently inhabited by persons with higher likelihood of COVID-19 and/or increased risk of getting COVID-19).
  • Generate clean-to-less-clean air movement by re-evaluating the positioning of supply and exhaust air diffusers and/or dampers (especially in higher risk areas).
  • Consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement to help inactivate SARS-CoV-2, especially if options for increasing room ventilation are limited. Upper-room UVGI systems icon can be used to provide air cleaning within occupied spaces, and in-duct UVGI systems can help enhance air cleaning inside central ventilation systems.

In non-residential settings, consider running the HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for 2 hours



Going Touchless – Stop the Spread

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Replacing aging fixtures with newer touchless devices has always been a great way to save our resources, increase hygiene levels and reduce water costs. With the pandemic and the emphasis on reducing the spread. Touchless devices became top of mind as an added layer to help protect our workers and family from the potential spread. We have upgraded many facilities this year and as you would believe demand on manufactures has been very high. When one of our clients recently requested their facility be upgraded to touchless, lead times for quality systems were also at high levels. We are thankful to have such great relationships with our suppliers that they will do whatever is needed to help us serve our clients with the utmost speed. Because of this our team was able to obtain the equipment quicker than expected and installed it sooner than anticipated. Bryon, one of our Plumbing Service technicians worked with our supplier to make it all happen at great speed. Our team installed several hands-free lavatory faucets, bottle fillers, pressure-assisted toilets, and flush valves to help our client provide their staff with an added layer of safety they desired.

Preventing the spread to just one person makes all the efforts everyone puts in worth it. As we move into the future, these types of products need to stay top of mind. Not only do touchless materials and equipment help stop the spread of germs but it also conserves large amounts of water. Most faucets in larger facilities can save hundreds of gallons of water over the course of a couple of years. If your facility is interested in “going touchless” reach out to our team for all the help you might need.

Stay safe.

Meet Lisa Lute

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I am a Contract Administrator here at MSD. My role is creating billings for Construction, Controls, Special Projects, and Electrical. I process contracts, work with our insurance agent to provide insurance for customers and general contractors. I also communicate with general contractors on billing and construction required paperwork as well as vendor waivers required on our construction projects. I collect and log tax-exempt certificates for the above departments. I complete the company registrations and work with Accounting personnel to aid in collections.

I have been at MSD for 20 years. I work mostly with Project Managers, Sales, and Department Managers. My favorite thing about MSD has always been the people that I work with. I enjoy watching the projects we complete and all that is involved in this process. Some of my best memories were touring job sites in Dayton that we were working on and seeing what our field people do daily, as well as seeing some of the big equipment that we installed.

Some of my hobbies include a game night with my family, volunteering, spending time with my friends, walking, and watching movies. My family is my husband Jeff and my two daughters: Amber and Cassy. I also have two grandchildren Jack and Alice. I spend a great deal of time with my grandchildren, and it is amazing to see them grow and learn. Not being able to get out much they have been our entertainment and kept us laughing through this last year.

If I could live anywhere, where would it be? On a beach! I love listening to the ocean and relaxing, walking on the beach at night, and looking at the shells.

What was your favorite family vacation? We took our girls to Tennessee several times, and we always loved hiking and exploring the Tennessee mountains. We have so many good memories of our time spent there.

What makes you laugh most? Jack and Alice. They are 8 years and 22 months. Jack recently explained to me that he and his Mom were doing an experiment with avocado pits. He could not remember their name, so he just called them guacamole eggs!

If you could do anything for a day, what would it be? At this point anything that did not involve staying at home. Probably spend a day at a racetrack, this is my newest hobby.

What motivates you to work hard? Accomplishing a goal. It is very rewarding to see a problem solved or someone’s job made easier by something that I played a part in.

When you were little, what did you want to be? A Banker

Meet Victoria Sherrock

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My main role here at MSD is an Accountant in the Finance Department. I have been in this role for almost 8 years. Since RSM recently merged with MSD, my role has been changing some, but I love the different things that are thrown at me to learn and develop my skills in the department.

My husband, James, and I just had a baby boy in October 2020 (James V) so our lives these days revolve around getting to know this little man and enjoying the new things he does every day. We cannot wait for summer to be able to enjoy the outside with him.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

These days, I would take a “me” day and relax. Maybe get a massage or some much-needed sleep.

What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?

Sirius XM – the Highway OR Today’s Country on apple music.

What is your favorite family vacation?

Our honeymoon in Saint Lucia! It was so beautiful and so much fun; I would go back ASAP.

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

 Watching football with my boys/family. (Bengals or Bills)

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would go South, to Tennessee or somewhere near the mountains.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming a mother to my sweet baby boy.








PHCC Future President Elect

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I was raised in various towns in Southwest Ohio growing up with the best parents I could have asked for. Growing up I was blessed to be educated in trades work as well as lucky enough to spend time in Mexico as a foreign exchange student. I learned a lot about the value of the freedom we are fortunate enough to have in the United States. I currently reside in Kettering, Ohio with my wife Cheryl. We will be married 25 years in October of 2021. I have an amazing hard-working stepdaughter, Sydney, and her husband David to spend time with. On the weekends I enjoy hunting & applying at least 6 coats of wax on my Jeep Wrangler. My wife and I also enjoy the beaches and spending time on cruises.

Lucky for me I was fortunate to start at a very young age receiving hands-on training.  I started in the trade field at the age of 10 in my father’s commercial refrigeration company. I started out aggravating the technicians and hanging out in the service trucks. I spent every one of my days off school learning from valuable people who taught me the value of customer service. The rewarding feeling to fix something that was a burden to others was motivating for me.  Overall, I have gained 42 years of experience. I received instructional training from many co-workers and manufacturers during my time in the refrigeration field. Scotsman Ice System offered me the position of factory trainer where I was able to travel to service companies and provide their employees with the Manufacturer’s Technical Service Information. Throughout my time of gaining experience, I have attended multiple sales training and personal growth development courses such as Dale Carnegie, Sandler Sales Training, Ed Foreman Successful Life Courses, and Zig Ziglar Courses.

When it comes to picking a career in trades…my first bit of advice is to pick a career that gets you up in the morning. I never have the “Monday Blues” meaning most people dread Sundays because they know Monday morning is right around the corner. In the trades, you will be doing meaningful tasks that affect those around you. Their comfort levels predict the start of their day – will it be a good day? a bad day? In the trade field, the goal is to have any customers or clients have a great day. Sometimes it might take a little extra work to get them to that point but that is all part of the reward. The best part of my career is each day is different. We are faced with different tasks and issues; our job is to resolve them. Every day ends with those who were affected by the issue gaining their comfort back. Providing resolutions that create a satisfied customer is the goal.

MSD, Inc has founded over 35 years ago and continues to be a family-owned business built on a reputation of quality work, service, and integrity. Our focus is to work as a committed partner from conceptual design through project completion and beyond. We value the opportunity to work as a committed partner and take pride in assuring our client’s expectations are met and or exceeded on a consistent basis. Our values and commitment drive me each day to make sure we are always providing the best to our clients.

As Strategic Account Manager, I focus on strengthening and building relationships with our clients. My goal is to ensure quality and value are always delivered. Our team has created a client-centric model. Our Client-Centric Model is based on Securing, Maintaining, Supporting, and Retaining Client Relationships through active listening, communicating, and delivering on promises. We provide phenomenal service with a ‘Live it, Breathe it’ mindset, exceeding client expectations.

Being a PHCC/AACO Ohio member means the world to me. I had not involved myself in organizations prior to this one but have found there are other members who have the same commitment to quality and value in the solutions they provide much like myself. Although I am not a business owner, these folks are not only dedicated to their customers but also to their employees and families affected by their daily business decisions. As president-elect of PHCC there is one perpetual thing I would like to see achieved during my tenure: keeping the integrity of the organizations and the trade. I want to be an advocate for licensed contractors so the consumer can trust the work being provided.


-Joe Shank

Are Dust Masks Considered Respirators?

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December 1, 2013 – One question I always ask trainees when discussing personal protective equipment (PPE) during OSHA 10 hour training classes is whether or not OSHA considers a dust mask to be a respirator. It has been my experience that the vast majority of students in most classes answer “no, it is not”. But the simple answer to that question is “YES, dust masks are considered respirators per the OSHA respiratory protection standard”. However, the steps you must take to comply with that standard can vary greatly, depending on whether the employee’s use of the dust mask is voluntary or mandatory.


Let’s begin by looking at the definitions section of the OSHA respiratory protection standard (1910.134, paragraph b). The first thing you should note is that OSHA has provided definitions for a variety of specific types of respirators, such as “Atmosphere-supplying respirator”, “Demand respirator”, and “Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)”. But I want to draw your attention to the definition for the term “Filtering facepiece”; there you will note the definition includes “dust mask” in parentheses, and then goes on to say it means “a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium.”  So that definition alone should clarify for everyone that a dust mask IS considered by OSHA to be a respirator. But if you are still in denial, read this OSHA letter of interpretation about the use of dust masks.

What this means is that all applicable rules in the OSHA respiratory protection standard that apply to the use of respirators would apply to dust masks; with “applicable” being the operative term here. For instance, if a worker must wear a dust mask because he or she is exposed to nuisance dust at a concentration that exceeds the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL), or even if the employer decides to make the use of a dust mask mandatory for a certain task, then all elements of the respiratory protection standard must be implemented, per paragraph 1910.134(c)(1). That includes, but is not limited to, the development of a written respiratory protection program with site-specific procedures, a medical evaluation and written clearance for that worker to wear the dust mask, an initial fit test of the dust mask to the user (yes, you can fit test a dust mask), which must be repeated annually, and initial respiratory protection training for users which must also be repeated annually. By the way, if you did not know there were PEL’s for dust exposure, refer to Table Z-3 in 1910.1000 and locate “Inert or Nuisance Dust”.

But what if the use of a dust mask is a voluntary act on the employee’s part, as opposed to a requirement of the employer?  If that is the case, then we refer to paragraph 1910.134(c)(2). First of all, subparagraph (2)(i) states that “an employer may provide respirators at the request of employees or permit employees to use their own respirators, if the employer determines that such respirator use will not in itself create a hazard.” That section then goes on to state that “if the employer determines that any voluntary respirator use is permissible, the employer shall provide the respirator users with the information contained in Appendix to this section (“Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”).  That means we must ensure that any respirator use will not in itself create a hazard (by ensuring that masks are not used if dirty or contaminated, and that their use does not interfere with the employee’s ability to work safely), plus we must provide the information in Appendix D to any worker who uses any type of respirator, including dust masks, on a voluntary basis.

The standard goes on to further require in subparagraph (c)(ii) that “In addition, the employer must establish and implement those elements of a written respiratory protection program necessary to ensure that any employee using a respirator voluntarily is medically able to use that respirator, and that the respirator is cleaned, stored, and maintained so that its use does not present a health hazard to the user”.  So according to that part, we must still implement a written respiratory protection program (albeit an abbreviated version as compared to a full program), and must also have the respirator user receive a medical evaluation and get written clearance to wear the respirator voluntarily, and then we must train the user in applicable cleaning, maintenance, and storage procedures.


However, the standard continues with the following footnote; “Exception: Employers are not required to include in a written respiratory protection program those employees whose only use of respirators involves the voluntary use of filtering facepieces (dust masks)”.  Unfortunately, I find that many employers (and employees) see this exception and mistakenly surmise that dust masks are not covered at all by OSHA.  If you read this excerpt carefully, you will see that it does excuse the employer from having to develop a written respiratory protection program if the only voluntary use of respirators by their workers is dust masks. This footnote also excuses the employer from having to get a medical clearance for the worker using a dust mask voluntarily, as well as the training requirements spelled out in subparagraph (2)(ii). BUT, this exception does NOT excuse the employer from the requirement that they present the voluntary user of a dust mask with the information in Appendix D of the OSHA respiratory protection standard.

So, to recap; the use of any type of respirator, including a dust mask, that is mandatory because of employer requirements or because of worker exposure to a respiratory hazard exceeds OSHA PEL’s would require the employer to implement all of the elements of a full respiratory protection program. However, if the use of a respirator is voluntary, the actions of the employer will depend on whether the respirator is a dust mask or some other type of respirator. If the respirator is not a dust mask type, the employer must present the voluntary user with the information appearing in Appendix D of the OSHA respirator standard. They must also implement an abbreviated written program, have the employee receive medical clearance to wear the respirator, and give training to that worker on cleaning, maintenance, and storage of their device. But if the voluntary use of the respirator is restricted to a dust mask, then the only requirement is to present the worker with the information in Appendix D.

By the way, it is important to note that even though the 1910.134 OSHA respiratory protection standard being discussed in this blog is a general industry standard, it also applies to all other work environments covered by OSHA (construction, maritime, and agricultural).

I’ve always said that when it comes to understanding OSHA regulations, the devil is in the details. And that is why it is so important to read the definition section of OSHA standards (see related blog post). Otherwise, you might fall into that group of people who do not know the correct answer to the simple question; “Are dust masks considered respirators?” But more importantly, you would miss the details that spell out which step(s) you must implement to be in compliance with applicable portions of the OSHA respiratory protection standard that are related to voluntary respirator use.

If you have questions or comments you would like to share with readers on this topic, please enter that information in the “Comments” section by clicking here and then scrolling down the page to the “Comments” box. And last but not least, I encourage you to Share This Blog Post with Others in Your Network who might benefit from reading this post.


Author:  Curtis Chambers, MS-OSH, CSP


  • 301 citations
  • $3,930,381 fines issued
  • Citation trends:
    • 134 (c)(1) – Written Respiratory Program
    • 134 (e)(1) – Medical Evaluations
    • 4 (a) – Recordkeeping
    • 134 (f)(2) – Fit Testing
    • 134 (a)(2) – Providing Respirators

In 2020 OSHA issued nearly $4,000,000 in citations related to Covid-19. Most of which related to respiratory programs or the lack there of. You must be careful as to what your employees are wearing as face coverings. If what they are wearing falls under the OSHA definition of a respirator, you must follow respiratory standard. In some instances, even a simple dust mask can fall into this category as stated in the article above.

Good luck and stay safe!!


MSD Organizational Modifications

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As we proceed forward into 2021, we would like to communicate the most recent organizational structure changes that represent the direction and ongoing journey to better support our Team Members, Clients, and Communities.

We have created a Business Development Team that will be led by Nick Davis as VP of Business Development. This group consists of Business Development, Estimation, Engineering, Marketing, and Sales. This team is responsible for branding the MSD name and delivering the opportunities to our Operation Groups.

The other modification to our organization is we have combined all operation groups into one team that will be led by Brad Bradley as VP of Operations. This overall group will consist of Building Automation & Controls, Construction, MFOP (Manufacturing, Fabrication Operations), Service, and Special Projects. This team is responsible for executing the opportunities that the Business Development group delivers.

We are excited to see these teams perform and grow as we approach 2021 and the years to come.

Johnny Stewart

The High Cost of Deferred Maintenance

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Did you know that every dollar of deferred maintenance will cost an average of $4 dollars of capital renewal needs at your Facility??? Team MSD is committed to keeping your building infrastructure operating at its peak performance levels. We value our client partnerships and look forward to protecting your buildings long term needs. Contact TEAM MSD today for your Custom Service Maintenance Plan!


Source: Grace Ellis,-According%20to%20research&text=Moreover%2C%20%E2%80%9CEvery%20%241%20deferred%20in,say%20nothing%20of%20healthcare%20concerns.