Top Five HVAC Contractor Injuries

By Steve Brens, Application Engineer, Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA 

The HVAC industry recognizes HVAC contractors once a year for National HVAC Tech Day, but let’s not forget the other 364 days. These hard-working men and women often work in difficult environments and conditions—in addition to being on call after hours. When equipment breaks and comfort levels are affected, people may become frustrated and impatient. That said, we should be pleasant throughout the servicing process because contractors are there to help.

 

HVAC injuries on the rise

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks work-related injuries by industry. According to the latest "Employer-reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” statistics, here are the top five reported injuries among 7,900 total cases of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers. These numbers are based on “Nonfatal Occupational Injuries Involving Days Away from Work by Occupation, Private Industry, 2020.” One surprising additional statistic was 40 amputations.

 

Top 5 HVAC Contractor Injuries (in 2020)

  1. Sprains, strains, tears - 2,420    
  2. Cuts, lacerations - 890
  3. Fractures - 870
  4. Bruises, contusions - 520
  5. Heat/chemical burns and corrosions - 180

In addition, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' data summary of TOTAL injuries and illnesses in the construction industry (contractor categories not specified by trade), injuries rose more than 25 percent from 2019 to 2020 from 888,200 to 1,176,300, respectively.

Working on rooftops made easier, safer
Siemens engineers are aware of the dangers HVAC contractors face, and the goal is to make their jobs safer and easier with technologically advanced equipment and commissioning. For example, the Siemens Climatix® Rooftop Unit (RTU) optimization solution includes remote management service that allows contractors to gain real-time access to RTU performance data, eliminating system downtime and truck rolls.​ Also, commissioning is made easy with the Climatix mobile app, which allows any level technician to commission an entire system.

 

The Climatix mobile app also transforms the commissioning process for Siemens OpenAir™ Intelligent VAV Actuators​. It reduces set up time with pre-configured settings for the most popular selections, while offering the ability to change defaults. The favorites feature allows easy configuration of multiple devices.

 

Show appreciation for HVAC contractors
Now knowing the physical risks involved in HVAC contractors’ daily work, let’s take a minute to thank contractors and technicians next time they service our equipment. Here are some ways you can show appreciation and make their jobs a little easier all year long:

  • Listen to their guidance and expertise 
  • Check equipment often 
  • Schedule preventative maintenance  
  • Share a positive review on social media

HVAC contractors are essential to our everyday comfort. Building managers/owners can practice due diligence with maintenance of their buildings and show contractors they care by helping to reduce the chance of injury on the job.