Teaching HVAC technicians how to comply with current safety practices is essential. When you employ staff, time they spend out of work because of injury hurts your bottom line. It is important to train HVAC techs with up-to-date information on the right safety gear to use, the appropriate tools to use for each job and best procedures to deal with a potentially dangerous situation.
Always Insist on Using the Right Protective Gear
HVAC technicians are taught in welding school the importance of using protective gear. Gear that might be used for the protection of the tech includes:
- Face shields: To protect the face from dangerous liquids.
- Safety glasses: To stop debris or other flying objects from getting into the eyes.
- Hard hats: If the technician is working in an area where objects may fall, or with low-lying beams.
- Earplugs: To protect against hearing loss in loud areas. Decibels above 90 require ear protection.
- Work boots or shoes: Shoes that are made to protect the feet from heavy objects that may fall.
- Respiration gear: For airway quality when there are unsafe contaminants in the air.
- Appropriate clothing: Clothes that protect the skin, hands and body from temperature extremes.
It is crucial to make sure all equipment is up to date, clean and does not need to be replaced. Equipment that is broken or worn out needs to be replaced in order for the technician to remain safe while on the job.
It is vital to continually remind your HVAC staff to always use their safety gear. Technicians can lose their eyesight, lose hearing, break limbs, have fingers cut off or suffer serious burns and cuts when working with HVAC materials. As an additional method during training, you may want to gather a collection of HVAC-related injury photos and show the consequences of carelessness and neglect.
Teach Technicians About the Proper Tools for Each Job
An HVAC technician will probably have some mechanical skills prior to your training them, but it is necessary to teach tool basics to new HVAC techs. Remind your staff to use the right sized tools for the job, and to avoid using broken tools that may slip and cause injury. If you do not have the right tools for your staff while you are training them, now is the time to ensure that you do your part in providing safe workplace tools. Remind staff often that if tools are broken, it is vital to notify a supervisor to have them replaced.
The Refrigeration School provides a list of common tools of the trade that all HVAC techs should be familiar with, including electrical testers, step ladders, caulk guns, wrenches and levels. Without proper handling, HVAC equipment can be dangerous. There are fuels, electricity and chemicals involved. Misuse of equipment can result in explosions or hazardous chemicals getting into the environment. When training technicians, make sure to remind them to read all necessary instruction manuals before beginning work on a new project. There will be safety standards in place, and technicians need to know that these standards are there for a reason.
Teach Procedures for Dealing with Hazardous Situations
Keep your technicians safe by teaching them how to appropriately handle chemical spills, and what gear to use in order to keep their body safe from harm. With electrical problems, make sure that the right gear is ready to use, should the technicians need it and turn off all main circuit breakers before resuming work. Read and follow all safety labels on equipment. HVAC repair can get dangerous quickly, and teaching technicians how to respond to emergencies in a safe and efficient manner will reduce workplace injuries.
You will be ready to train a staff of HVAC technicians when you have the right protective gear to keep them safe, the right tools to do the job, and the correct maintenance manuals that provide all safety procedures. You can show examples of injuries associated with the misuse of protective gear in order to make your point clear. Let your staff know that the consequences for not using gear correctly and not following safety procedures may jeopardize their employment as well as their physical safety.
Don’t be afraid to reiterate the importance of using the right gear, tools and procedures at all times. The safety of your HVAC technicians will depend upon it.