HVAC Safety Tips For Every HVAC Contractor

The US Department of Labor recorded over 37,000 reported injuries for HVAC trades in the United States in 2015. 

In 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC was ranked in the top five industries for fatalities, with 5.1 deaths per 100,000 full-time employees.

These accidents occur when you don’t have access to proper training or equipment. 

See, you’re expected to fix everything from a broken furnace to an AC system. Sometimes, you do all the work without help from manufacturers or even other contractors who might have been able to advise you on safety parameters.

It is, therefore, a necessity for every HVAC contractor to know and follow the top HVAC safety tips without any external reliance. What are they? That’s exactly what we’ll uncover in today’s article.

10 Tips To Follow To Ensure HVAC Safety

Safety is a significant concern for HVAC technicians. The work environment is hazardous, with the potential of severe accidents lurking around every corner.

Taking the necessary precautions when working on an HVAC system is essential. That includes being aware of common hazards and following proper servicing procedures.

HVAC technicians are exposed to a unique set of dangers while on the job. It means safety is enormous in this profession. Danger lurks in some of the most unsuspecting places, and industry professionals should adhere to the best HVAC servicing procedures and stay vigilant for common hazards.

These HVAC business safety tips will help reduce any risk of fatal injuries or events. Treat it as one of the HVAC safety checklists.

1. Using The Right Protective Gear

It can be easy to let your guard down when working as an HVAC tech. After all, you’re surrounded by tools, equipment, and machinery that seem to be designed for the job at hand. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your safety!

You must follow the HVAC personal safety topics and take extra precautions.

  • When working with HVAC systems, it’s essential to wear a respirator. The equipment you’ll work on could produce harmful fumes, dust, and debris.
  • You may have to use your hands in extreme conditions of cold, heat, and chemicals for extended periods; cold, chemical, and heat-resistant gloves are, therefore, non-negotiable. 
  • As a rule, you should always wear a face shield respirator, earplugs, goggles, and a hard hat when working. 
  • If you’re in an area where you may be at risk of falling, you must wear slip-resistant protective footwear.

2. Follow OSHA regulations

The US government created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970 as a division of the United States Department of Labor. Its mission is to set and enforce standards for safe and healthy working conditions.

As a professional HVAC technician, you must ensure that the systems you install, maintain, and repair are safe. You have to be current on OSHA regulations because they can save lives.

OSHA covers these HVAC job factors for HVAC contractors:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Confined space entry
  • Electrical Standards
  • Respiratory protection
  • Machinery

As HVAC contractors, whether you work in commercial or industrial construction sites, OSHA rules and regulations will ensure that you’re not exposed to toxic gases like carbon monoxide that causes carbon monoxide poisoning, or chemicals, don’t get hurt by heavy machinery, or burn yourself (fire hazard) with faulty wiring. Thorough training in OSHA standards through OSHA courses can save lives.

3. Practice Safety Regulations

HVAC technicians are extremely busy. They have to deal with everything from electrical systems to chemical reactions and do so promptly.

Sometimes, you might be tempted to cut a few corners. But you must never take shortcuts while practicing safety regulations when working with heating systems and cooling equipment.

As an HVAC technician, you regularly deal with chemicals, electricity, and extreme temperatures. There is also a chance of your life being at risk. While neglecting safety measures might save you a few seconds, it does infinitely more harm than good.

Safety is essential when working as an HVAC technician, but it’s even more critical when following the rules.

When it comes down to it, not following the rules first will only lead to unnecessary accidents and injuries, both for yourself and other on-site workers.

4. Using Right Tools For The Situation

Using Right Tools For The Situation for HVAC safety

As HVAC contractors, it’s essential to keep your equipment in check before moving forward.

Before starting a job, assess the required tools you will need to complete the task at hand. Always double-check your equipment, whether it’s a wrench, wire strippers, or even a vacuum gauge.

It will ensure that, as contractors, you have the right tools for the job and that they are in good working condition. The last thing you want to do is use faulty equipment, which could lead to injury and bodily harm while completing the task.

It is also essential to keep everything in order so performing routine maintenance on your equipment is vital! It will not only keep you safe but also save time on your next job if everything is ready immediately!

5. Assessment of the job site

Assessment of the job site for HVAC safety

As a new HVAC technician, you must exercise caution and assess the job site before jumping into the task.

While working in the heating and air conditioning industry, technicians must learn how to evaluate the situation first to prevent getting injured.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends professionals working around and with electrical currents take up additional electrical safety training. It is the responsibility of the business owner to discuss job site evaluation in HVAC safety meeting topics.

Assess the situation first to take essential safety precautions before work begins, and not regret it later.

6. Handle Chemicals With Care

While many people think of chemicals as something to avoid, HVAC jobs require handling them daily.

And with these jobs comes a lot of responsibility. HVAC technicians must ensure that no HVAC safety hazards take place. Everyone around is safe from harm.

It’s vital for you to have the right protective gear and to practice chemical safety at all times.

Even minor accidents can cause severe damage to your health and prove to be fatal if not handled properly. Keeping chemicals in original containers and never mixing substances, even if they appear similar, will ensure that you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else while doing your job.

Make sure to keep chemicals in well-ventilated areas away from vents to prevent fumes from spreading through the air. Not doing this could cause HVAC safety hazards like breathing problems for anyone nearby. 

7. Use The 3-Point Rule While Using Ladders

Use The 3-Point Rule While Using Ladders for HVAC safety

One of the most critical HVAC safety tips you should never forget is the Three Points of Contact rule to follow when using a ladder.

It instructs users to always have three points of contact with the ladder at all times: either both feet and one hand or both hands, and one foot should be in touch with the ladder at all times. By following this rule, you can help to keep yourself safe when using a ladder. 

The work conditions for HVAC technician is unpredictable. It is usual for them to slip and fall sometimes. 

But some accidents can be more severe than others. The 3 points of contact rule is a simple method that can reduce your chances of falling from a ladder.

8. De-Energize Electrical Equipment

As a business owner, you know safety is of the utmost importance. You also understand that electrical hazards significantly contribute to technician injuries, leading to severe injuries.

There are approximately 1000 deaths yearly due to electrical injuries in the United States alone. About 400 people in the United States each year suffer serious burns from high-voltage electrical injuries.

At least 30,000 people face electric shock yearly, and the number is increasing. Each year, approximately 5% of all burn unit admissions in the United States occur due to electrical injuries.

The HVAC contractor must understand the consequences of not following proper electrical protocols before entering a site with high-voltage equipment. The most basic mistakes can lead to severe injury or worse. You could get seriously injured if you fail to de-energize equipment before a job.

9. Keeping The Job Site Clean

Tidy workplaces are the best way to reduce injuries. Every HVAC worker should follow the safety tips for keeping the workplace clean.

Being negligent in maintenance is held liable for damages should an accident occur. 

It is vital to keep the HVAC workplace clean and safe. Slips and falls can result from slippery floors, poor lighting, chemical exposure, or electrical wiring. 

A risk assessment and appropriate procedures should assess these HVAC safety hazards to decrease the risk of injury.

10. Avoiding overworking

As a tired contractor working for exceptionally long hours, you are likely to make mistakes, which could endanger you and your customers. Leaving the electrical wire of a home unfixed is unacceptable, but when you’re exhausted, it is entirely possible.

There are plenty of reasons you should be worried about your fatigue levels. Here are just a few:

  • It puts everyone around you at risk. A tired worker is more likely to make mistakes, which could cause severe injury.
  • If you have been working too many hours without taking breaks or getting enough sleep, you might not be able to complete the work as thoroughly as you’d like.

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 The four most common heating and cooling equipment problems are:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Wear and Tear of machine
  • Dirty Filters
  • Water Damage and leakage

Here are five maintenance procedures for an HVAC system that will keep your HVAC unit operating well and give you some peace of mind:

  1. Replace the air filter to improve the indoor air quality
  2. Clean coils and fins
  3. Check compressor operation
  4. Check the refrigerant charge
  5. Check blower operation

HVAC technicians are responsible for ensuring the safety of their clients. It includes ensuring that their workplaces are safe and protecting them from injuries or illnesses caused by exposure to chemicals, dust, harmful particles, and other hazards.

Because the work of HVAC technicians can be dangerous, these workers must follow OSHA regulations. These regulations include requiring employers to provide training for new employees on how to use hvac equipment safely. They also mandate that employers provide respirators to workers who may be exposed to harmful chemicals or bags of dust during their jobs.

If you want to work in a stable, exciting field with an excellent salary, consider becoming an HVAC technician. You should take advantage of the experienced training leaders in the area. You will find plenty of opportunities to advance in this career.

Safety is a must, no matter how seemingly essential the task might seem. Despite the many benefits HVAC technicians enjoy, the job requires a high degree of caution and detail-oriented thinking. You will regularly be exposed to on-the-job hazards and risky situations. But you make it a safe career by compulsorily sticking to all the safety tips we discussed.


A career in the HVAC industry is potentially flourishing, fulfilling, and high paying. However, it is also true that it exposes you to some of the most dangerous risks. Does that mean it isn’t a safe career? No, but being a field job, it required added vigilance and adherence to protocols.

As HVAC technicians, if you’re looking for a long-lasting career, keep safety at the forefront. Safety is clearly a non-negotiable for you. 

And safety begins with training. Hence, HVAC classes teach about electrical wiring, chemical refrigerants, and hot, heavy HVAC equipment.

When it comes to talking about managing and streamlining your HVAC business, FieldCamp is the name that has secured the top position in the list of service scheduling software for HVAC businesses. The software helps HVAC businesses to manage job scheduling to dispatching, invoicing to accepting payments, and reporting. Sign up for FREE today and take the benefit of a 7-day free trial.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.