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Mastering Safety as an HVAC Technician

You know what it takes to be a commercial HVAC technician. You’ve mastered the training. Maybe you’ve been in the HVAC service industry for decades or maybe you’re brand new. Whatever the case is, it’s always important to follow proper safety guidelines. Below are six key aspects of safety you need to remember while you’re out in the field to make sure you get the work done without a safety incident.

Make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) your #1 Priority PPE is a critical aspect of ensuring you and your HVAC tech team stay safe out in the field. Before starting a job, you should make sure that you have the necessary safety gear like steel-toed work boots, HVAC work gloves, safety goggles, hard hats, ear plugs, and respiratory protection. This equipment provides protection against potential hazards like airborne particles, electrical shocks, loud mechanical room noises, and chemical exposure.

Understand Electrical Safety

The video to the right is what you DON’T want to happen while working on HVAC units. A key component of HVAC service is electrical safety. You need to make sure you’re not taking shortcuts when it comes to electricity. Knowing the equipment you’re working on and wearing the proper gloves can help prevent electrical shock. Make sure you follow the correct procedures including turning off power sources before starting your repair, using the lockout-tagout procedures, and using insulated tools. Even a quick, small shock can be painful, so follow proper electrical safety when working with HVAC equipment. For more safety tips regarding electricity with HVAC equipment, click here!

Practice Safe Ladder Usage It’s common to use ladders in the commercial HVAC industry to service large equipment and HVAC systems. Make sure that you always have ladders that are sturdy and properly maintained. Make sure the ladder is positioned on stable ground, and always have three points of contact with the ladder.

Implement Proper HVAC System Shutdown Procedures

To minimize risks when working on commercial HVAC equipment, you need to follow proper shutdown procedures. This includes turning off the power supply, locking out energy sources, and safely venting any residual pressure. Rushing through these steps or neglecting them entirely can lead to dangerous situations, like sudden releases of pressure or electrical shocks.

Maintain Proper Ventilation

You might find yourself frequently handling refrigerants or chemicals while working in the HVAC industry. It’s important that you have proper ventilation to prevent inhalation of harmful gases or vapors. Proper use of respiratory protection is essential when working in confined spaces or areas with poor ventilation. Make sure you adhere to material safety data sheets (MSDS) and follow manufacturer guidelines when handling chemicals.

Stay Up to Date on OSHA Regulations and Industry Standards

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and industry standards are constantly evolving to ensure a safe working environment. Staying up to date on these changes is an important practice for all HVAC technicians. Attending safety training programs, workshops, and conferences can provide valuable knowledge to you and your team of technicians. For recent news from OSHA, click here.

Mastering safety guidelines is crucial for all HVAC service technicians and by prioritizing all of the aspects above, you can create a safe working environment for yourself and your fellow technicians. Remember, safety should never be compromised, and continuous learning and implementation of best practices will lead you to a successful and accident-free HVAC service career.

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