Top 3 Facility Maintenance Safety Checklist Items – Part 1 of 2
While performing typical facility maintenance tasks, your mind is usually focused on taking proper care of the equipment that you are working on. However, before you begin you should take care of something even more important: your own personal safety.
When addressing facilities maintenance safety, there are three key areas: Personal Protective Equipment, Equipment Safety and Hazard Awareness. This first of two posts will focus on the need for Personal Protective Equipment or PPE.
PPE is necessary if you are working around machinery. Here are the “must-haves” for the HVAC industry when performing facility maintenance tasks.
- Safety glasses or goggles: These protect your eyes from flying objects as well as unexpected chemical, gas or oil release. They should always be worn when using equipment such as pressure washers or condenser tube cleaners to shield your eyes from splash back.
- Gloves: Minimally, latex gloves should be worn when coming in contact with chemicals. Leather gloves should always be worn if you are working with a drain cleaner to protect you from a potential wound that might easily get infected. Fitted work gloves can protect your hands without sacrificing dexterity.
- Hard hat: They may seem unnecessary, but if your upper body is inside an air handler or a cooling tower, there are always struts or metal corners that you could hit your head on and cause a laceration or, worse, knock yourself unconscious.
- Protective footwear: If you drop a tool or materials, these will protect your feet from serious injury.
- Hearing protection: You should always wear hearing protection when you are in mechanical space. Don’t trust that the room will always be posted if it’s required.
- Respirator: Make sure you use a HEPA filtered respirator if you are inside ducts or replacing air filters. If you are above a dropped ceiling in an older building, there could be asbestos in the environment. When working in a dirty or suspect environment and wearing a respirator, make sure it is the last item you remove when you’ve completed your task. An associate of mine removed his respirator immediately after using a boiler tube cleaner to punch the tubes. Even though the HEPA Vacuum did an excellent job, some residue from outside the tubes still ended up on his coveralls. While removing the coveralls, the residue was released into the air and he breathed it in. He ended up with a respiratory infection that kept him out of work for a month.
Remember that the most irreplaceable piece of facility maintenance equipment is YOU. Protect that investment! And keep an eye out for Part 2 of our Maintenance Safety Checklist series — coming soon!
- Check out our learning center on how best to maintain your building’s existing equipment.
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- Stay up to date on facility maintenance tools such as chiller tube cleaners, boiler tube cleaners and hose/pipe cleaners, descaler systems, test instruments, industrial vacuums, commercial pressure washers, and drain cleaners.
Goodway Blogging Team
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