Safety First: Part One

Safety First: Part One

HVAC technicians face many daily risks while on the job. When it comes to safety, you definitely don't want to take shortcuts. Whether you're a first-year tech or a seasoned pro, take a few moments to brush up on these common safety scenarios to avoid dangerous injuries.

One of the most dangerous scenarios commonly seen is techs working on A/C units in the rain. This is a recipe for disaster, as water and electricity are a deadly combination. Never work on electrical projects in the rain or wet.

Disconnects/Circuit Breakers

When you shut off a disconnect or circuit breaker never assume the voltage at the equipment is 0 volts. Circuit breakers can fail and disconnects can sometimes be wired incorrectly. Take out your voltmeter and measure the voltage at the equipment, and see if it is indeed 0 volts before proceeding.

Equipment Ground

To prevent electrical shock from touching equipment that has an energized frame, make sure the frame is grounded.

Lockout Tag Out

When working on equipment where the circuit breaker panel or disconnect is out of your line of sight, shut off the circuit breaker or disconnect, then lock it in the ‘off position,’ and install a lockout tag. The tag should include your name, company, why the breaker is locked out, and the date to help keep others from energizing the equipment without your knowledge.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

Prevent electrical shock by connecting all electrical test equipment to a GFCI outlet or use a built-in GFCI extension cord or power strip. A GFCI circuit prevents electrocution by tripping the GFCI breaker in fewer than 25 milliseconds when a ground current has up to 5 milliamps of flow.

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