American Services commercial Cooling in St. Louis MO is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated on the latest in industry safety news.
It takes a full crew to install a new rooftop assembly safely. Each electrical connection, gas, and water line needs to be seated and tightened simultaneously ensuring the platform remains stable during the install.
Most contractors will tell you safety is their number one objective on the job. Equipment, electrical pneumatic , water and steam lines can all be hazardous in the best conditions. When you attempt instillation while making a lift of several thousand pounds, placement of these units can often be tricky at twenty stories and higher. These working conditions are standard for HVAC contractors and their crews, many contractors must schedule weeks out to install and service projects.
One contractor said that while the months of March and April are a little slow, rooftop service picks up dramatically in May. “I’ll service five rooftops on one job, which typically take about an hour a piece,” he said.
When working at these elevated heights a thorough indoctrination of safety in the air must be taught on the ground first. Whether installing single, or multi –unit s, contractors ensure their crews are well trained, and that they understand the hazards of operating safely in this challenging condition.
Another contractor stated; “When on the roof, make sure that you have a harness if you are close to the roof edge. And when rigging rooftop units, make sure all persons are away from the building area that you are lifting over.”
Other professionals say; “Check accessibility of the roof and make sure there is enough area to work in.” “Look for a safe guardrail if the unit is near the edge of the roof/structure and check for proper electrical lockout while the unit is under repair.”
Safety goes beyond the techs and installers – it involves everyone at the job site ;“An overlooked safety issue is not always by the contractor, but from innocent pedestrians that may be shopping or working at the place where the RTU is being changed,” said one contractor. “You always have to barricade off the area around the crane or jobsite. We had people deliberately move and walk under the caution tape to get to their car at a Wal-Mart project last year. You have to prepare for everything when lifting RTUs in public places.”
Servicing rooftop heating or cooling units is much safer overall when technicians have safety training and implement common safety practices.
Not only is safety important from a human standpoint, it is also important from an operational cost standpoint – namely insurance costs.