Tips for Keeping Your HVAC Technicians Safe in the Hot Summer
HVAC technicians have an essential duty: keeping properties and buildings at safe and comfortable temperatures. But their line of work could land them in situations where they endure the summer heat for hours — and it’s up to facility managers to ensure the proper working conditions for technicians who come on-site.
Here are some practical tips you can consider for optimal HVAC technician safety while on the job and use to ensure that your facility is welcoming for the team that services your HVAC equipment.
Recognize the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness
Prevention is key to protecting your HVAC technicians but isn’t a fundamental safeguard against the elements. Any personnel should know the warning signs that someone could have a heat-related illness. If an HVAC technician is experiencing any of these symptoms, they should stop work immediately and seek medical attention:
- Headache or feeling light-headed
- Excessive sweating
- Red, hot skin
These signs don’t represent how everyone experiences heat-related illnesses. So any technician experiencing issues when working in the heat should report to a site supervisor and take a break. Proper safety training can help everyone stay informed and aware when they’re out in the sun. It’s essential to let your teams know the protocols to create a safe working environment.
Have Proper HVAC Technicians’ Safety Procedures
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that employers should always have comprehensive health emergency plans. In addition, these plans should include protocols in case a heat-related illness occurs on a work site.
While many companies recognize the value of having a health emergency plan for their employees and visitors, they may not consider safety protocols to use for outside vendors. Even though you may be working with an outside vendor for services, when it comes to HVAC technician safety, it’s essential to:
- Providing access to water close to the work site
- Scheduling any intense work during morning or evening hours
- Be cognizant of the realities of the local climate
- Prepare the job site so that the technician can easily access equipment
- Keep the work area clear during hours when technicians will be active
- Minimize heat exposure when you can, especially for outdoor units
- Make it straightforward for technicians to reach you if they have a concern
Facility managers and building maintenance operators should always comply with OSHA guidelines. While this is important for your everyday employees, it’s also an easy way to protect your HVAC technicians and other contractors. Remember that OSHA guidelines apply to everyone working in your facility — not just your own employees.
Encourage You HVAC Technicians to Take Breaks
It’s easy for an HVAC technician to get wrapped up in their work. But they need to take breaks to hydrate and get out of the sun when they’re able. The nature of the work and the protective gear they wear could bring on dehydration rapidly and without warning. Being proactive is the only way to combat the possibility of overexposure and heat-related illness.
If a project is expected to take a while, you can let the HVAC technicians know where they can take short breaks in an air-conditioned environment or in the shade. Regular breaks for the technicians are an excellent way to lower the chances of heat exhaustion and other safety concerns.
HVAC Services from the Severn Group
The Severn Group provides comprehensive commercial HVAC services throughout Maryland and in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Let the team at The Severn Group handle all of your HVAC needs. Contact us today to learn more about our installation, repair, and maintenance services.