How to Stay Safe on an HVAC Job
When it comes to getting hurt on the job, HVAC technicians have one of the highest rates of injury and illness among blue collar workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the hazards these workers face on an HVAC job include getting burned, electric shock, exposure to deadly gasses and falling. As an HVAC technician, to keep safe, follow these four safety tips.
Wear Protective Gear
Many of the above mentioned hazards could be avoided by wearing the right protective gear on an HVAC job. To protect yourself from cutting your skin on metal and glass, wear gloves and arm protectors. The clothes you wear should also be appropriate for the work environment you’ll be working in (think insulated clothing for cold environments). Goggles, respirators and/or face shields protect your face and lungs from debris, dust and any gasses you may encounter on a job site. Hard hats are required if the risk of falling are high and wear slip resistant boots to guard against slippery floors.
Handle Chemicals Safely
Refrigerants, cleaning liquids and solvents are just a few of the hazardous chemicals technicians may come into contact with on an HVAC job. If they aren’t handled correctly they can burn skin or even explode and cause major injuries. That’s why it’s important to follow all of the proper procedures when handling, storing and moving these types of substances. You also need to take precautions such as wearing protective clothing like gloves when working around them.
Be Sure to Power Down
Aside from working with potentially dangerous chemicals, HVAC jobs also require working with power systems and electrical equipment. Whether there’s a chemical spill or a water leak in a cooling system, the threat of electrocution is very real. So before starting work, make sure the equipment you’re working on as well as any main circuits are powered down.
Take Care of Your Tools
From wrenches to vacuum gauges, making sure your tools are in working order is essential to staying safe. If a leak detector doesn’t work, you can inadvertently expose yourself to toxic gasses like carbon monoxide on an HVAC job. Take the time to inspect your tools and make any necessary repairs and replacements before going to work.
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