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PPE for HVAC Technicians

Question asked by rmiller@hamstraac.com on Dec 18, 2019
Latest reply on Dec 19, 2019 by Steve Benton

  I work for an HVAC service and installation company providing service on residential, light commercial and industrial equipment. We have acknowledged that our current uniforms are lacking in the correct level of protection for the employees, polyester and polyester blends. This choice of uniforms was done to provide some relief from the extreme heat in our climate. I have reached out to upper management and expressed my concerns regarding NFPA 70E requirements and hazards our uniforms present on a daily basis. Myself and a few teammates have been tasked to reach out to others in our industry and experts such as yourselves for an unbiased answer. My understanding is that CAT 2 rated clothing is the only safe option to go with. Unfortunately we can not do a risk assessment on every piece of equipment. I've gone through multiple HVAC forums, NFPA included, and there are conversations similar to us,but nothing specific to our trade. Also our last electrical safety training was 6 years ago for arc flash and the employees were given LOTO devices 3 years ago. The voltages we encounter on a daily basis range from 4-400 VDC and 24-480 VAC. Brazing is performed by some employees on a daily basis and gas fired equipment is serviced and installed as well. My employer is aware of the costs associated with a uniform change and risk vs cost will come up. I have my own personal and strong feelings about our lack of protection, but I need and outside party to help get this message across.

Thank you for guidance!

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