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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    12

    What's the worst injury you sustained working in HVAC?

    Hello there, I'm quite curious. What's the worst injury you've ever sustained in HVAC? I would've gotten some **** for this in the field haha. Please note I took this well after 24 hours of it happening, my hand was a lot worse my friends.

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    I got these second and first degree thermal burns being the guy who's just starting out, I was somewhat afraid of attaching my gauges for a bit, but my valve was a little loose when attaching the hoses, and as I kept trying to spin the damn hose end on the unit, it kept spraying and finally I let go but got that bad burn. I'll be using gloves for a little while longer, but I did attach my gauges plenty of times afterwards! Haha, Anyone got any interesting pictures or stories to share?

    Also I couldn't find a better forum area on the site for this, so correct me if I'm wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,358
    what, no internal fluids leaking out?

    worst acute injury was face plant onto concrete slab, then furnace fell on me. 9 stitches in eyebrow.

    worst chronic would be back problems, or hernia operation.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,071
    On my 21st birthday none the less...

    Welding up some angle iron to support an exhaust manifold for a large electrical generator. Angle was above my head so I was looking up while stick welding. Had on safety glasses under a full welding helmet.

    Piece of slag splashed and somehow made it under the helmet and past the safety glasses into my eye. Got burned pretty bad and spent the day in the hospital getting various flushes and pain meds. Went on steroids for a few weeks and no permanent damage thank god. 20yrs later and I still have 20/20 vision.

    When it happened I was convinced I had lost that eye for good. It scared the hell out of me.

    To this day I am super anal about wearing safety glasses and people think I am nuts. You only get one set of eyes and one set of ears, protect them, you will want them in the future.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,596
    The worst one that comes to mind was a non rinse condenser coil cleaner that got shot right in my eye. A long flush and hours of burning later, it was all good.
    I'm horrified to think what some of the other guys have done to themselves.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat22 View Post
    what, no internal fluids leaking out?

    worst acute injury was face plant onto concrete slab, then furnace fell on me. 9 stitches in eyebrow.

    worst chronic would be back problems, or hernia operation.
    Thankfully not, I'd rather not only be 5 months into the trade with something like that under my belt.

    Quote Originally Posted by zw17 View Post
    On my 21st birthday none the less...

    Welding up some angle iron to support an exhaust manifold for a large electrical generator. Angle was above my head so I was looking up while stick welding. Had on safety glasses under a full welding helmet.

    Piece of slag splashed and somehow made it under the helmet and past the safety glasses into my eye. Got burned pretty bad and spent the day in the hospital getting various flushes and pain meds. Went on steroids for a few weeks and no permanent damage thank god. 20yrs later and I still have 20/20 vision.

    When it happened I was convinced I had lost that eye for good. It scared the hell out of me.

    To this day I am super anal about wearing safety glasses and people think I am nuts. You only get one set of eyes and one set of ears, protect them, you will want them in the future.
    You're lucky it didn't take both eyes, my grandfather got injured and refused steroids. The hospital injected without his consent during the middle of the night and he woke up blind the next morning. If it weren't for my grandmother, I would be in a millionare family.

    On a off-topic note, I was hoping Syracuse would go undefeated so I could say Michigan was the last team to beat them haha. Go Blue!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    3,248
    Quote Originally Posted by zw17 View Post
    On my 21st birthday none the less...

    Welding up some angle iron to support an exhaust manifold for a large electrical generator. Angle was above my head so I was looking up while stick welding. Had on safety glasses under a full welding helmet.

    Piece of slag splashed and somehow made it under the helmet and past the safety glasses into my eye. Got burned pretty bad and spent the day in the hospital getting various flushes and pain meds. Went on steroids for a few weeks and no permanent damage thank god. 20yrs later and I still have 20/20 vision.

    When it happened I was convinced I had lost that eye for good. It scared the hell out of me.

    To this day I am super anal about wearing safety glasses and people think I am nuts. You only get one set of eyes and one set of ears, protect them, you will want them in the future.
    I also wear safety glasses everyday, maybe twice a year I forget to get them out of my car and have to wear my casual glasses and I feel really weird without them. I've seen some really close calls on mundane tasks, hammer claw hitting a guy in the face close to his eye, a shard from a piece of PVC flying off so hard it stuck a guy in his eyelid and drew blood, lots of stuff with sheet metal work. I worked with a guy who actually wore an eye patch from an hvac injury, if I remember correctly it was from a rubber bungee that had started to breakdown that he used on his ladders, pulled it one day to get it off and snapped and took out his eye.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,838
    I have been burnt, electrocuted,cut,so many times it pains me to much to talk about it!Also got many a cut when I worked in my fathers meat store.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    332
    Never believe the idiot "teaching" you when he says the power is off...that was close. I ruined his cutters when i cut the two hot wires (the breaker didn't trip and i think there wasn't one to protect the circuit), idiotic of me. At least his cheap cutters are dead and not me. ALWAYS CHECK POWER and still try to treat it like it's live.


    That reminds me, the only guy who will look out for you is yourself. I'm lucky i have no serious injuries to speak of in my first 9 months of hvacr.

    Sent from my Event using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    3,248
    Aside from the usual burns(had one like the OP), cuts but non bad, and bruises, the thing that has scared me the most was last summer wrapping up repairs on two 60ton pack units, there was a big storm coming that I could literally see off in the distance from the high roof I was on, it looked real nasty so I was flying through the work that was left, had already finished vacuuming and recharging two circuits, had most of my tools over to the edge of the roof where my lift was and all I had to do was replace two crankcase heaters, got the first one done and had one left, easy peasy, but I'd been working on these units for two days with them running except for the circuits I had down so I had gotten too comfortable, bit into the crank case heater with my wire strippers on a live wire and grabbed the metal part of the stripper to pull, I've never felt anything like that before, my whole body was locked down and it made a super loud yell come out of me, I don't know if it was the electricity or me but, much to my horror, I went crashing straight into the big electrical compartment, I ended up on my back on the roof just laying there looking at the ominous sky as raindrops started falling on my face, suddenly I didn't care about getting wet or any of that I was just glad I was ok. For about a month after that I was triple checking every circuit to make sure it was dead before I worked on it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by mason View Post
    Aside from the usual burns(had one like the OP), cuts but non bad, and bruises, the thing that has scared me the most was last summer wrapping up repairs on two 60ton pack units, there was a big storm coming that I could literally see off in the distance from the high roof I was on, it looked real nasty so I was flying through the work that was left, had already finished vacuuming and recharging two circuits, had most of my tools over to the edge of the roof where my lift was and all I had to do was replace two crankcase heaters, got the first one done and had one left, easy peasy, but I'd been working on these units for two days with them running except for the circuits I had down so I had gotten too comfortable, bit into the crank case heater with my wire strippers on a live wire and grabbed the metal part of the stripper to pull, I've never felt anything like that before, my whole body was locked down and it made a super loud yell come out of me, I don't know if it was the electricity or me but, much to my horror, I went crashing straight into the big electrical compartment, I ended up on my back on the roof just laying there looking at the ominous sky as raindrops started falling on my face, suddenly I didn't care about getting wet or any of that I was just glad I was ok. For about a month after that I was triple checking every circuit to make sure it was dead before I worked on it.
    My instructor was blown back by 120V into a wall by himself where he laid out cold for 15 minutes before anyone found him. Also was in a building with 3 deaths due to some sort of gas, I do not think it was phosgene but it may have been.

    I also used to work with an Engineer at Marriott who was hit by 240V just breifly and he said that he had flashburn and that it almost killed him.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by UofMfanJJ View Post
    My instructor was blown back by 120V into a wall by himself where he laid out cold for 15 minutes before anyone found him. Also was in a building with 3 deaths due to some sort of gas, I do not think it was phosgene but it may have been.

    I also used to work with an Engineer at Marriott who was hit by 240V just breifly and he said that he had flashburn and that it almost killed him.
    That's scary

    Sent from my Event using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    615
    A coworker and I were running a bunch of piping for a chiller in a busy factory. There were people and machinery everywhere and it was a difficult day simply because of the access. We had spilled some glycol and one of the factory workers had covered it in oil dry so when were were close to being finished, I started sweeping up the oil dry. My coworker was in a drop ceiling on a ladder finishing the last few joints and I was sweeping when I bent over to reach between some beams. There was a bracket on the beam designed to hold a fire extinguisher but it was empty. Somehow, slid on the oil dry and stumbled to catch myself and rammed the top of my head right into the exposed bracket. It stunned me and I stumbled backwards but in the second that it took me to come too, I had enough blood running down my face that I couldn't see. I took both hands and planted them firmly on the top of my head because in my dazed state, I though there was a hole strait to my brain up there. I yelled up to my coworker and told him he needed to come down now, and he grumbled and complained because he was almost finished but when he got down the ladder to find me looking like I just climbed out of a blood shower, he shut up. By the time we got to the hospital, my entire front shirt (white of course), my lap, and a large portion of the truck seat was covered in blood. When we got there, they rushed me strait back because of how bad it looked. 6 stitches and a few days to recover from the concussion and I was all good.
    The only true knowledge is the pursuit of knowledge

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_guy View Post
    That's scary

    Sent from my Event using Tapatalk
    Can't remember where the engineer said he used to do maintenance, but he used to do it at a place where he told me the safety precautions were insane. Said that a drop of a certain chemical and like 8 miles (exaggeration) goes boom.

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