HVAC Safety Hazards
The type and severity of safety hazards associated with your HVAC company depend heavily upon what type of systems your HVAC company installs and services. The vast majority of HVAC companies perform residential installations and services, while a smaller percentage install and service commercial and industrial systems. Now, having said all this, there are some HVAC safety hazards that are universal and present in all of the above situations. Let's see a few:
- Manual lifting hazards
- Electric shock hazards
- Heat illness
- Cuts and abrasions
- Rodents, insects and snakes
Another good way to discover more hazards is to contact your workers' comp insurance provider and ask the risk or safety department for insights on this. They are usually happy to share this information with you and help you avoid hazards on the job.
HVAC Safety Checklist
There is a range of different safety checklists available for download on the web. However most are very general so it's always best to create your own using a template or from scratch. This will save your techs more time in the field and streamline operations. Here's a link to save you a few seconds: Safety Checklist Google Search
HVAC Safety Issues
A great resource for HVAC related safety issues is the OSHA standards
. However, what you'll discover is that "HVAC" specific info will be hard to come by. Rather, OSHA likes to deal with topics or hazards related to multiple industries and trades. Therefore, you'll have to first identify the hazards associated with your operations, or think of topics that are important to your HVAC business and search for information on those. You might also try trade magazines or unions if those are available to you. For now, let's consider a few ourselves.
HVAC safety issues will always include motor vehicle accidents. Many safety publications overlook this but it is very common and relevant to HVAC techs. In addtion to this, safety issues include hazards from the list above in this article but extend beyond just hazards. Safety "issues" may also include employee safety disciplinary actions or lack of communication on safety. You might want to also consider "management committment" to safety. After all, if there is no committment by management to safety, then no one is going to be committed and nothing you do regarding safety will be effective. Now that's a major safety issue to consider.
HVAC Safety Briefing
HVAC safety briefings are safety meetings, tailgate talks, or toolbox talks that are applicable to HVAC companies. These are not straightforward to find because like the OSHA standards, "briefings" are also by hazard or topic and NOT labeled HVAC by name. A good place to start is to download safety topics that have the topics that are applicable to HVAC operations. You might try our safety topics
if you want an entire library.
The HVAC safety briefing topics you will want to cover may match the list of safety hazards you came up with earlier or which we listed above in this article. It is always best to strive for quality over quantity though. For example, it is better to cover the same 10 topics or subjects throughout the year if they are most relevant to your employees. It's ok to repeat these topics several times per year because you will have employee turnover and because this information will not be retained by employees if it is only covered once per year.
HVAC Safety Manual
An HVAC safety manual is a document that aims to achieve compliance with Federal OSHA, your state's equivalent; while also allowing you to have a company resource that lays the safety policies, procedures and programs for your HVAC company. It is always preferred to download a template instead of writing one from scratch because, well that would be very time consuming. So, you might consider our instant download HVAC safety manual
as a great starting point.