3.7 Precautions When Handling Refrigerants

General Precaution When Handling Refrigerants

Under most installation and service situations, refrigerants are safe when reasonable care and caution are exercised.

Precautions the refrigerant handler should follow when handling or working with refrigerants are:

  1. Know the refrigerants you are working with; have knowledge of their physical and chemical properties is essential to predicting their behaviour; examine and understand the material safety data sheet (MSDS) sheets of the substance which describe some of the properties.
  2. Never place refrigerants in a system that has not been pressure-tested.
  3. Wear proper protective clothing and gloves.
  4. Keep the working area well ventilated.
  5. Always use approved piping or tubing and, whenever possible, braze joints.
  6. Perform a leak test and repair all refrigerant leaks immediately.
  7. Avoid refrigerant contact with flames or other hot surfaces as some refrigerants can become toxic and may decompose.
  8. Never discharge refrigerants into the atmosphere.  It is illegal to do so and is detrimental to both human and environmental health.
  9. Never breathe in refrigerant vapours. Treat all refrigerants as if they are toxic.
  10. All refrigerants should be handled safely and with caution.