Hvac&R safety

Increase in refrigerator’s reliability with safety


You must have some basic knowledge of electricity to ensure safety for yourself and the equipment under repair. Electricity has made our life easier but at the same time it can also injure or kill a person if it is manhandled.

A current of a few milliampere can cause serious injury to our organs even though the voltage is as low as 30V-40V. Higher current flowing through our bodies can even cause death.

When in dry condition, human skin has a skin resistance of about 400k ohm to 800k ohm but when in wet condition, the resistance can go down to 50k ohm. Therefore, it is a must to ensure your hands are not wet when handling electrical works.

Safety Precaution
Disconnect Power to the equipment under repair by pulling the plug out from the electrical socket. This is the best practice as the equipment is now totally disconnected from the mains. If this is not possible, go to the distribution box and trip the appropriate circuit breakers to OFF position. Place a tag to indicate that no one is supposed to ON the circuit breakers as repair work is in progress. Better still, use a lock to lock the distribution box to ensure no one is able to access it.

Dry Rubber Gloves and insulated tools should be used when working on electrical circuits to prevent electrical shock. The floor where you are standing should be insulated and dry. Better still, wear a rubber safety shoes. It is important to note that water is a relatively good conductor of electricity hence ensuring the ground is not wet or damp is a necessity. If you need to climb to access the circuits, use a wooden ladder instead of aluminium ladder as aluminium can conduct electricity easily. Do not contact pipes, water, damp floor or other electrical wires when handling live circuits.

Instruments such as voltmeter or test pens should be used to check that the wire is not live before you proceed to work with it. When measuring voltages and currents, you must be aware of the maximum readings and set the tool range accordingly. This is to ensure no damage is done to the instrument.

Lighting must be sufficient to see all the circuits under repair. Do not grapple in the dark.
Working Alone is not recommended as you may need help from another person in the event of emergency. Always work in pairs to take care of one another.

Safety Glasses should be wore if you are doing drilling work or in areas where debris is present.

Bare Conductors should not be touched with your bare hands unless absolutely necessary. This is also after ensuring that the conductors have been isolated from the mains. Sometimes, there is still some charge left on the capacitor which means you may get electrical shock when you touch the bare wires connected to the capacitor. Capacitor with charge should be discharged by using a resistor before attempting to work on them.

Use One Hand when working with live circuits. Most power systems engineers that work with high voltage transmission and sub-stations will place one hand in their pockets. This is to prevent a complete electrical circuit around your chest in the event of electrical leakage. Always use measuring instruments such as multi-meter with proper probes to check the presence of electrical power. Do not touch the live circuits with any part of your body.

Below are nine tips to keep refrigeration system users safe.

  • Implement a refrigeration system maintenance program that addresses: wear-out / end-of-life; resources, approval and accountability.
  • Provide refrigeration system, maintenance program and worker qualification/skill awareness training to all employees and representatives responsible or involved with approving arena maintenance related activities or expenses.
  • Implement clear procedures that provide guidance and instructions to employees regarding the hazards associated with leaking chillers and required actions.
  • Implement training and procedures for refrigeration system managers to identify the limitations of different technical qualifications associated with refrigeration systems and engage independent advisors for items considered a cause for concern.
  • Incorporate safety risk assessments into asset management planning activities for all arena and curling refrigeration systems and mechanical rooms.
  • Conduct an assessment of the organisational design and assigned resourcing for positions that are accountable for technical system management.
  • Conduct an assessment and test of ventilation systems to evaluate effective internal ventilation of the mechanical room and external discharge in a manner that minimises risk of exposure.
  • Inspect all emergency discharge piping and confirm that steering does not enter any spaces that present a risk to public safety.
  • Make publicly available the following information associated with management and oversight of regulated refrigeration systems, if you manage public assembly facilities (such as arenas):
  1. Refrigeration system maintenance programs for regulated equipment;
  2. Related capital budgeting plans for supporting maintenance programs;
  3. Assessment and audit criteria;
  4. Results of assessments and audits;
  5. Independent recommendations relating to the condition of equipment, including recommendations from maintenance contractors for repair or replacement; and,
  6. Any other information relevant to the assessment, audits and overall safety of the technical equipment and its management programs.

Servicing Compressors Electrical Safety Tips
In some compressors, there are electrical supplies to the compressors even though the compressors are not running. For instance, crankcase heater is sometimes installed to prevent refrigerant from accumulated in the compressor housing.

Hence, it is important to ensure that the main circuit breaker is switched off before you attempt to open up the compressor for servicing.

These are some of the electrical safety tips that you must consider before attempting to do your own repair work. Always get a qualified technician to do it. Note that the presence of electricity cannot be seen with our naked eye but can only be detected by using appropriate instruments.

Safety being a major concern among all industries, for refrigeration it is electrical safety that puts light on safety requirements. Air Conditioning system and Technical safety BC have given few tips and opinions as mentioned above, on how electrical safety of refrigeration should be taken care of. By following these simple guidelines one can increase the refrigerator’s life.

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