Instructor Training

18th Annual ICB/TABB Conference

The 18th Annual ICB/TABB Conference

The sky’s the limit!

May 5-7, 2019 Seattle, WA

Prepared by Richard Graham, Local 104 Instructor, May 13, 2019


Conference Summary

This summary captures a 3-day conference which took place from May 5th and concluded on May 7th 2019.The conference offered two educational tracks. The business track enabled conference attendees to identify market opportunities and proven methods for capitalizing on them. The Certification track provided conference attendees with opportunities to increase knowledge and skills, and complete an exam for certification.

The event brought together some 150 conference attendees from all over the United States including Alaska to learn marketing strategies from Fire Life Safety to company promotion and provided opportunities for Supervisor Certifications for TABB and Fire Life Safety 1 & 2.

The conference began Sunday evening with registration check-in followed by a meet and greet reception and concluded with the ICB/TABB recognition dinner. At the recognition dinner Davor Novosel was inducted into the TABB Hall of Fame joining the list of past recipients which includes Local 104’s own Pat Pico and Tim Perry. The conference continued with peer to peer discussions, a vendor showcase, Bluebeam mark-up demonstration, contractor to contractor best practice seminar and classes which prepared attendees for Certification exams, to name a few. It concluded with the with the TABB Supervisor, Fire Life Safety 2 and Infection Control Awareness Certification exams.

While attending a mix of the Certification and Business track programs sessions I was exposed to the following information which will improve my ability to educate our members.


Session 1: NFPA70E Update 2019

Opening the conference this session highlighted NFPA 70E requirements for safe work practices protecting personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards. Originally developed at OSHA’s request, NFPA 70E helps companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast, and assists in complying with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K


Key takeaways

  • Job Safety Planning must be completed by a qualified person, documented, and include the following: describe the job with individual tasks; identify hazards associated with tasks; assess shock risk; assess arc flash risk; identify and document work procedures, special precautions, and energy source controls.
  • Job Safety Planning guidelines: identify; ask; check; know; think; prepare for emergencies.
  • Energized repair work requires an Energized Electrical Work Permit.
  • Human error and its negative consequences on people, processes, work environment and equipment must be specifically addressed in the risk assessment procedure.
  • Using the hierarchy of controls, your first priority must be to eliminate identified electrical hazards. Each control method that follows is considered less effective than the one preceding it.
  • A step-by-step approach is detailed for how to set up an Electrically Safe Work Condition program.
  • Your arc flash risk assessment uses a table that estimates the likelihood of the occurrence of an arc flash incident. This estimate calculation also applies to the incident energy analysis method, instead of just the PPE category method.
  • Selection of arc-rated clothing using the incident energy analysis method is now part of the standard’s mandatory text, and guidance is provided on how to select gear when using this method.
  • DC voltage shock threshold has been changed back to 50V from 100V to comply with OSHA regulations


Session 2: Bluebeam Mark-Up

This sessions presentation demonstrated how incredibly quick and easy bidding a project, marking up mechanical drawings, color coding the drawings and labeling the equipment using Bluebeam.


Session 3: AIRNAB

This session presentation demonstrated how to create and manage TAB reports digitally via an internet connection. TAB data is instantly uploaded to the AIRNAB website eliminating driving to the office to hand off/ pick up reports. Reports are paperless from the office, to the field, to the final TAB Report. Furthermore, by eliminating typing of reports turnaround time is greatly reduced.


Session 4: TabOpts Management System

This session presentation a contractor showed us this project management system and how they Bid project, archive projects and tracking of completion percentage for billing purposes. This system is fully interactable with Bluebeam and AIRNAB.


Session 5: VRF Systems

Alex Tiechner of ACCO Engineered Systems of Sacramento made a presentation on VRF systems from a field prospective. Alex described what a VRF system is, how it works, applications, installation procedures, maintenance, and controls on a VRF system. Alex was very generous in giving us access to his power point presentation which will aid us in our training.


Session 6: Promoting your Company to Potential Customers

The moderator offered his experience in his years of owning a TABB Certified firm and how he built it from the ground up. From describing a lunch and learn with prospective clients to abstaining from social media this session provided methods to obtain more market share.


Session 7: Codes and Standards Committees  

This presentation described how committees are developed and responsible for revisions of ASHAE, NFPA, UMC and other codes and standards. We heard how one member influenced New Mexico legislation mandating Certification for Fire Smoke Damper Testing.


Session 8: Vendor Showcase

Vendors had the opportunity to show off their latest products. A few of the vendors at the showcase were:

  • Alnor
  • Evergreen Technology
  • Belimo
  • Dwyer


Session 9: Contractor to Contractor Best Practices

This presentation offered examples on how to make a TABB firm more profitable.


  • Take Advantage of Technology
  • Improved Communication
  • Create a positive company culture
  • Improve training
  • Map out the workflow