Importance of Job Site Safety

Brandt considers safety our number one priority, especially with being in the construction industry. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reports that nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average for all industries.

OSHA lists falls (from heights), trench and scaffold collapse, electric shock and arc flash/blast, failure to use proper protective equipment, and repetitive motion injuries as potential hazards for construction workers.

Here are the top hazards most frequently cited by OSHA and solutions for how to avoid them.


Hazard: Fall hazards can occur when scaffolds are not erected or used properly. There are an estimated 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities each year from scaffold-related accidents.


-Scaffold must be sound, rigid, and sufficient to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Scaffold must be on solid footing.

-Scaffold can be accessed by using ladders and stairwells.

-Scaffolds must be inspected and re-inspected by a competent person. The scaffold must be equipped with guardrails, midrails, and toeboards.

Fall Protection

Hazard: Falls account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. A number of factors are involved in falls so companies should protect workers from all of them.


-Use aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces.

-Cover floor holes and use safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems.

-Use guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines, or install control line systems to protect workers near the edges.


Hazard: OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities from falls on stairways and ladders in construction, with half of the injuries requiring time off.


-Use the correct ladder for the task and have a competent person inspect a ladder for any defects.

-Mark or tag damaged or defective ladders for repair or replacement or destroy them immediately.

-Make sure that ladders are long enough to safely reach the work area and never load the ladder beyond the maximum intended load.

Brandt stays on top of all safety hazards on our jobsites in order to keep our employees safe on the job.

New Construction Industry Trends

Brandt is constantly growing, innovating, and looking for ways to improve our industry as each day passes. Construction was very different 100 years ago, but today we have intelligent technology that allows us to continue to stay on top of our work. Here are some emerging trends that Brandt is using in our everyday projects.

New Materials

The materials we use today for construction made available to the contractor, builder, and architect would be foreign to the people who built the Sistine Chapel hundreds of years ago. These new materials offer a ton of features that are unique to them and they provide builders with versatility, allowing everything from pre-fabrication to moving a structure.

Energy Efficiency

With climate change being one of the largest challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, there is a need for construction to move away from fossil fuels and more towards energy sustainability. Because of this, new tools have come about like energy recovery systems, occupancy sensors, green construction software and more. Not only does it cut out fossil fuels, but it saves construction companies and their customer’s money.

Less Paper

Since technology is advancing, “paperwork” is diminishing. In the construction industry a large majority of companies work with design software and construction management software. Invoices, contracts, updates, LEED forms, RFDs, accounting- it can all be handled by software. It is also easier to track, search, and make sense of, making the office a more organize place to work.

3-D Printing

The end is not in sight for how much 3-D printing can do. Its potential for the working world has grabbed many industries attention, including the construction industry. This advanced technology not only creates materials and tools at a cheaper cost but it also crafts entire projects. 3-D printing is revolutionizing construction. This revolution is headed in a positive direction and will hopefully stay on course.

Brandt hopes to continue to utilize these innovations in the construction industry that allow us to continue to grow. Our commitment to our customers is great and we hope you choose us for your next project.

Optimizing Service with STORM

Brandt continues to build on the services we provide to our customers. Recently, Brandt developed STORM (Service, Technology, Optimization, Retro-commissioning, and Monitoring) to address customers’ building operational and efficiency challenges. Our approach utilizes innovations in technology to assist building owners, facility managers, and maintenance personnel with identifying their building’s under-performing or out-of-tolerance equipment.

“STORM is really Brandt’s version of OnStar for buildings,” said Jim Stagg, Director of Service. “We are using the latest technology to communicate with any building’s automation system, in order to provide predictive and proactive Mechanical and Electrical services for our customers.”

STORM uses state-of-the-art software tools, such as BACbone, to collect and analyze data from customers’ existing automation systems. We are then able to provide customers with opportunities for efficiency improvement. By providing detailed analyses and visual representations of the information, STORM can reveal performance trends and operational deficiencies.

As part of the core STORM service, Brandt performs a 60-90 day analytics survey, collecting key building data. The STORM Team analyzes the collected information and presents the customer with a report of opportunities for improvement in system performance, operation and comfort. This survey often produces new projects and service work for Brandt.

storm-blogSTORM’s Ongoing Facilities Analytics are accurate and up-to-the-minute information on a building’s performance. This information is collected remotely and actionable items are delivered to the customer by a Client Service Representative. These recommendations may include corrective actions, improved performance, or energy saving opportunities.

For all new mechanical construction projects, STORM services will be included in the commissioning and warranty phase. This will allow Brandt to deliver much more than traditional project and warranty support. Utilizing STORM’s software tools throughout the commissioning process helps Brandt verify the successful operation of equipment and systems before transitioning into warranty.

Throughout the warranty period, STORM will continue to monitor the building to help maintain performance, track and mitigate issues, and more quickly respond to any potential warranty calls. After the warranty expiration, the customer is shown the value of renewing their contract with STORM’s Ongoing Facility Analytics Program.

In addition to these services, STORM can also perform data center efficiency audits, retro-commissioning studies, utility monitoring, and other critical systems monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx).

The launch of  STORM will result in higher customer satisfaction, better responsiveness to customer needs, and increased opportunities for Brandt to be the preferred solutions provider.

September is Career Fair Month

Brandt is looking for the best and brightest to join our team! We offer opportunity for advancement at every level, and our multi-discipline approach means there’s a place for anyone with the drive to learn and the determination to succeed. Find out when we will be at a career fair near you:


Rice University Career Fair
Houston, TX
Mechanical and Electrical Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Baylor University STEM Career Fair
Waco, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Texas A&M University Construction Fair
College Station, TX
Mechanical and Electrical Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


University of Texas San Antonio STEM Career Fair
San Antonio, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Oklahoma State University Engineering Fair
Stillwater, OK
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Pittsburg State Company Construction Day
Pittsburg, KS
Mechanical & Electrical Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Texas Tech University Construction, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Fair
Lubbock, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Kansas State University Engineering & Technology Fair
Manhattan, KS
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


University of Oklahoma CNS Construction Science
Norman, OK
Mechanical & Electrical Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


University of Houston College of Technology Construction Management Fair
Houston, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


Colorado State University Engineering Fair
Fort Collins, CO
Electrical Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions


University of North Texas Engineering & Computer Science Fair
Denton, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Summer 2016 Interns & Full Time Positions


Southern Methodist University Engineering Fair
Dallas, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers


Texas State University Construction Fair
San Marcos, TX
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2016 Interns & Full Time Positions


Texas Christian University Engineering Fair
Fort Worth, TX
Mechanical, Electrical & Industrial Engineers
Assistant Project Managers
Summer 2017 Interns & Full Time Positions

Keep up-to-date with our recruiting team and events by connecting with our communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

The Effect of Smart Devices on the Jobsite

Everywhere you look, people are taking photos on their smartphones or typing away on their tablets. Almost every industry utilizes smartphones and tablets, including the construction industry. While viewed as delicate devices on a construction site, smartphones and tablets have become a valuable tool in the field. Many forms of technology can be used to elevate our performance.

Construction technology advancements have primarily taken place in the project management, architectural, and office executive fields. While it has certainly helped with designing, planning, and scheduling projects, it can also be utilized by Foremen, Superintendents, Engineers, and other workers wearing hard hats daily. Many tasks they perform everyday can be streamlined with mobile technology.

Here are some ways our smartphones and tablets can do this:

-Plan viewing: Individuals can work off the most up-to-date sheets and never lose track of on-site logistics, because plan sets are readily available on their devices.

-Task management: With a single click, someone can see duties and deadlines assigned. They also have the ability to establish priority and view progress updates.

-Issue tracking: Organize hundreds of photos for punch lists and inspections. With data stored on the cloud, it takes minutes to assemble reports.

-Productivity: All communications can be archived and time-stamped, so someone can easily see what areas are on schedule and budget. This information allows the function of a site to be improved.

Smartphones are saving time and money by cutting down on printing and materials. Brandt knows that time is something we can’t recoup and technology allows us to be more efficient.

Brandt works hard to stay on top of industry trends and innovations while maintaining the highest quality. Click here to learn more about Brandt.

Brandt Introduces Trade Up Initiative

Brandt is proud to introduce our newest initiative, Trade Up. This program aims to increase awareness of skilled trades career opportunities among students between the ages of 13 and 18 years old.

For the past five years, skilled trades positions have been the most challenging jobs to fill in the U.S due to a shortage of technically trained workers. In Trade Up, Brandt employees go to schools and speak directly with students about training and career opportunities in the industry.

“My best experience was at the Houston Career and Technical High School. Thomas Stright, Senior Virtual Designer, and I visited this high school to meet with the CTE Director. While we were there, we were able to visit with several classrooms and talk with students about trade apprenticeship,” Hattie Morse, Trades Recruiter said. “We met two of the top students from the Skills USA championship, who both expressed interest in learning more about Brandt.”

Scott Boswell, Vice President of Mechanical Field Operations, started as a Pre Apprentice in the Plumbing and Pipefitting trade 31 years ago. He is passionate about encouraging the next generation to explore the skilled trades.

“For some high school seniors, the thought of sitting through a minimum four more years of school as well as dealing with the associated cost of college is not an appealing thought,” Scott said. “They want to start earning money and they can do that while they learn a craft that involves working with their hands. They can become skilled at MEP crafts which will always be needed due to the rate of construction that is required to accommodate an ever-growing population.”

Skilled trades are an excellent career path for those who want to work with their hands, want each day to be different, and enjoy challenges that enable them to learn and grow. Apprentice programs provide an opportunity for students to work, earn money, and attend classes toward becoming a licensed Journeyman.

“I think most young people do not truly understand where the skilled trades can take them in their careers and the monetary compensation that is involved with joining an apprenticeship program,” Scott said. “You are able to work during the day and go to school at night. By the way, top notch journeymen craftsmen do quite well financially.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Manpower Survey, skilled trades jobs are hard to fill because many candidates lack strong technical skills. As workers in the baby-boomer generation begin to retire, there will be a significant reduction in the available skilled labor force. Brandt’s Trade Up initiative addresses this predicted shortage by showing young adults that skilled trades are a worthwhile and fulfilling career path.

“The skilled trades are a viable option because there is no limit to where they can take you as long as you are willing to put in the work and dedication it takes to get there,” Scott said.

As Brandt’s Trade Up initiative moves forward, our goal is to provide educators a means to propose skilled trades as an alternative to attending a traditional four-year college. It is critical that skilled trades are represented as a respectable career decision for the next generation. Becoming a trained Plumber, Electrician, Welder, Pipefitter, Sheet Metal Worker or HVAC Technician offers a rewarding career path while allowing workers to contribute to society through their work. Skilled Tradesmen built this country and continue to build American dreams.

Color Contrast in Design-Build

Brandt is known for MEP design-build expertise, and much like the impact air conditioning and lighting has on the environment, color schemes also play a role.

If you’re looking to increase innovation in the corporate world, the bright color red increases attention to detail, improves proofreading accuracy, and raises alertness to errors. The color pink reduces aggression in prison inmates. Hospitals and schools use light green because it is calming and neutral in nature.

Blue boosts performance on creative tasks like brainstorming. Countries such as Japan and Scotland are using this color for outdoor lighting due to blue being associated with police and security, leading to a decrease in crime rates.

Bold uses of color and contrast strategically placed within a work environment, such as blue and orange, promote creativity, brainstorming, and alertness. However, the overuse of any color can lead to saturation and monotony, which decrease brain activity by being visually unstimulating.

In the learning and work environment, contrast and variety increases brain activity and attention span. Contrast, not color alone, is important to specific segments of the population. Variety and balance must be used with contrast to make sure a space is not overwhelmed. High contrast should be limited to only places of importance, highlighting moments of attention.

In the end you want to allow the user’s eyes to rest between areas so they can process and absorb more information. Be sure to balance the overall palette by avoiding contrasting bright colors as well as dull and similar colors.  By doing this, you will establish a happy environment for your employees to work and customers to visit.

At Brandt, we include our users in the process of design-build to represent their specific vision and culture they choose for the look and feel of their own environment. Color is perceived by everyone differently so we want to make sure the colors are right for you.

Understanding Building Code Basics

Are you up-to-date on all current building codes? Building codes focus on the important safety, health, and environmental protection concerns of society. Following codes during the initial design and construction phase can determine maintenance costs, quality, safety, and energy performance of the building. While some things within a building plan are easily replaceable, most aspects can be very hard to change without a significant impact to the building once construction is complete.

All codes are very important for a building’s safety and efficiency.  Some aspects can affect the employees and customers of a business without notice such as light quality, acoustics and airflow. Unfortunately, these are some of the most overlooked aspects of a building’s quality. More obvious requirements include fire safety codes and structural and seismic standards.

When constructing a building, it is important not to cut corners for both legal and financial reasons. Model codes are a set of minimum requirements for a building’s design and construction that help us “build it right” the first time. These requirements ensure that a structure will protect public health, safety, and natural resources.

When creating and discussing building codes, the U.S. code development process gathers all interested parties to determine what is needed and feasible for the construction of new buildings. Building codes make our communities more livable, resilient and sustainable by offering an enhanced protection against possible threats of natural disasters and terrorism, which can in turn lower the price of mitigation for building owners.

Model codes give the construction team guidance on how to achieve all of these goals and give the insurance industry a baseline for estimating and managing risk. They also help lower and control the cost of insurance premiums. Energy codes, at a time when best practices for sustainable design are widely known and taught, are making a major contribution toward solving our energy needs and can substantially affect the value of your building.

Following and enforcing building codes helps prevent unnecessary and costly modifications. When considering the construction of a new building it is extremely important to be up-to-date on all requirements to ensure that your building will meet code when construction is complete. See all of the current building codes by visiting the International Code Council’s website.

Understanding Noise Hazards on the Job Site

Brandt always wants to ensure our employees that they are working in a safe environment and their health will never compromised. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 30 million people in the U.S. are exposed to hazardous noise every year. For the past 25 years noise related hearing loss has been one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns. There are ways to recognize and prevent hearing loss in the work place.

Warning Signs

Noise could be a problem for you in your work place if you are:

  • Hearing ringing or humming in your ears after you leave work
  • Experiencing co-workers shouting at you in order for you to hear what they are saying at an arm’s length away
  • Experience temporary hearing loss after leaving work

How loud is too loud?

OSHA has legal limits on noise expenditure in the workplace. The limits are based on worker’s time weighted average over an 8 hour day. For noise, OSHA’s permissible exposure limit is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day. The national Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that all workers exposed to noise should be controlled under a level equal to 85 dBA for 8 hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss.

Reduce the hazard from noise

  • Choose low-noise tools and machinery
  • Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment
  • Place a barrier between the noise source and employee
  • Enclose or isolate the noise source
  • Limit the amount of time a person spends at a noise source
  • Provide quiet areas where workers can gain relief from hazardous noise sources
  • Wear hearing protection devices such as earmuffs and plugs
  • Implement an effective hearing conservation program

All of these elements are critical to ensure that workers are being protected in high noise environments in the workplace. Brandt is always making sure our employees and work environment is a safe place to work.

As Summer Heats Up, Be Aware of Heat Hazards

Summer is here and with that comes the long scorching hot days. Many people’s careers expose them to heat on the job whether it is outdoor or hot indoor environments.  Jobs that take place in high temperatures, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high chance to harm its employees with heat related illnesses. Every year, thousands of workers become ill from their jobs being exposed to heat for long periods of time, and some have even died. However, this can be prevented!

Why is Heat a Hazard?

When a job is located in a hot environment, the workers body must get rid of excess heat to maintain a stable internal body temperature. In order to maintain our internal body temperature, our body sweats in addition to circulating blood to the skin. However, when air temperatures are close to or warmer than our normal body temperature, cooling the body becomes more difficult. This is when heat exposure in the work force becomes dangerous for our health. When the body cannot get rid of excess heat, it begins to store it. What this means is the body’s core temperature rises along with the heart rate. If the body stores too much heat, the person can begin to lose concentration, become irritable or sick, and can lead to fainting or even death if the person is not cooled down.

How to know when it is too hot

Some ways to figure out when it is just too hot is to be aware of your environmental surroundings. Here are some signs:

  • Temperature rising fast
  • Humidity increase
  • Sun’s UV rises
  • Little to no air movement

These are just a few of the many signs that you should prepare yourself for the heat. A useful tool to use that takes both temperature and humidity into account is the heat index. If you are an outdoor worker, we strongly suggest using the heat index to prepare yourself for your long day of work in the sun.

Prevention of Heat-Related Illness

Some ways to prevent yourself or your employees from suffering from heat-related illnesses in the summer months are:

  • installing air conditioning and ventilation
  • Have break cycles to drink water often to build up a tolerance to work in the heat
  • Look out for symptoms of heat related illness in yourself and others

If you’re beginning a career that involves working outside in hot weather conditions, make sure you are set for the worst conditions so you can help prevent your health from being harmed. Remember to stay hydrated and take periodic breaks in shaded areas. If you begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy, weak, nauseous or suffer from headaches, move to a cooler place, sit down and drink some water.