HVAC technicians are exposed to hazards such as deadly chemicals, unprotected wires, sharp tools and toxic inhalants on a daily basis. As a result, these employees have one of the highest rates of injury and illness among blue-collar workers. Safety is an important part of the job, and technicians should always be aware of the various elements in their surroundings.
Below are five safety tips on how to prevent an injury or illness while on the job as an HVAC technician.
- Fully assess the situation before taking action.
Whether your job requires you to travel to a school, local residence or commercial building, always evaluate your surroundings. Identifying potential hazards within the HVAC system and its location will prevent accidental slips or direct exposure to a hazardous chemical. Rushing into a job that seems familiar or routine leaves room for error. Once you are able to assess your current situation, your chances of injury or exposure to chemicals decreases.
- Wear protective gear.
Exposure to contaminants and other hazardous materials are not uncommon occurrences in daily HVAC duties. These contaminants can take a variety of forms, and proper gear must be worn. Slip-resistant shoes will prevent you from falling when floors become slick, and arm protectors and gloves protect against cuts from materials such as glass shards. Respiratory masks are another form of protection that are essential when working in this field. An HVAC safety manual will clearly list all types of protection that are available.
- Handle chemicals with caution.
The chemicals that HVAC technicians come into contact with on a daily basis can be quite dangerous. Basic protective gear can keep out small spills, but any uncovered skin is left vulnerable. Using extra caution when mixing, pouring or storing chemicals can save you a hectic trip to the emergency room. Thoroughly reading any caution labels and ingredients lists will help to prevent unnecessary contact with chemicals when performing HVAC duties.
- Use tools that are safe and up-to-date.
An HVAC technician’s tools are a vital part of his or her daily job requirements, and because they are used so frequently, they often need to be replaced. When tools become worn or are not working properly, replacements should be purchased to decrease your chance of injury. A full assessment of your equipment should be performed before and after a job is complete.
- Identify yourself as either an independent contractor or employee.
The difference between an independent contractor and an employee could be the difference between not receiving and receiving workers’ compensation benefits should you become injured on the job. Workers oftentimes assume they have workers’ compensation coverage only to find out when they are injured, that since the employer has classified them as an independent contractor, their workers’ compensation claim is denied. That’s why it’s so important to know the difference yourself and to question your employer if you’re unsure.
In this line of work, safety should be a technician’s first priority. Each system that is being disassembled differs from the amount of dust and debris to the chemicals within. Wearing protective gear at all times, assessing the surrounding environment and using up-to-date tools will help prevent a trip to the emergency room while performing HVAC duties.
HVAC technicians take on a variety of roles while on the job and being prepared this summer will prevent a serious injury from occurring in the workplace.
If you or a co-worker was injured while on the job at no fault of your own, contact KBG Injury Law to get the Results You DeserveÒ.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.