Don't wear loose clothing, such as unbuttoned sleeves or shirttails that hang out. Loose clothing can get caught in moving machinery, such as fans, compressor shafts, pulleys, etc., causing serious injury. For the same reason, if you have long hair, be sure to tuck it into a baseball cap for your own protection. Earrings, bracelets, and loose neck chains can also be hazardous.
A service company may purchase a large cylinder of refrigerant and recharge this refrigerant into smaller cylinders to save money. This is not only illegal, it is dangerous. An overcharged refrigerant cylinder could explode if left in a hot vehicle. Don't rely on the refrigerant cylinder rupture disc.
There is a very good reason for this procedure. There may be internal pressure within the system. Or, if the object being removed is heavy, it could slip and cause injury. The same procedure applies to flywheel or pulley removal. Make certain the object is loosened from its seat before fully removing the nuts or bolts.
Regardless of the protection, nothing matches someone standing directly outside the door in case of emergency. I have been locked in a "safe" freezer, and will never have it repeated.
Don't believe it for a minute. There have been a number of lawsuits where the customer wins the case because the technician didn't follow the rules.
My motto is, "Take your time and do it right." If you work for a company that allows you to overlook good safety practices, I would consider working for another company.
John Schaub is president of Schaub Consulting, Medford, N.J. He has been involved in HVACR as a field engineer and company owner for more than 40 years. For more information, contact 609-654-2138 or visit www.chillers.com/schaub.htm.
Publication date: 03/08/2004