Massive growth in the data center industry has put increased focus on the health and wellbeing of its operators. With modern DC environments and equipment only growing in both size and complexity, the safety of all personnel, from engineers to security, must be assured.

Studies on occupational health and safety note the following as the top six most important data center safety rules:

 

1. Awareness & Assessment

 

·         Potential problems or issues must not only be properly identified, but the appropriate methods to lessen or eliminate them must be put in place, such as permits, protective equipment, training, and documentation.

 

2. Energy Systems

 

·         All team members must be aware of the energy systems within a data center, from electric to thermal to hydraulic. Prior to beginning any work, these systems must be isolated and de-energized to avoid injuries as well as safely re-energized post-project.

 

3.  Electric Safety

 

·         If it cannot be avoided, live electrical work permits are given under specific circumstances to qualified personnel in protective equipment. During DC work, intermediate testing to ensure continued electrical isolation is essential.

 

4. Height Precautions

 

·         It is preferred to do as much work from the ground of the DC as possible. If unavoidable, ensuring platforms and other lifting devices are built, raised, anchored and maintained by certified/trained workers is key.

 

5. Temperature Considerations

 

·         Relocating hot work to a designated area is preferable to avoid injury to team members and damage to surrounding equipment. Alternatively, another option is removing all flammable, ignitable, or combustible material from the area of work as well as ensuring sprinklers and extinguishers are in good working order.

 

6. Load-Bearing

 

·         The capability of the individual or machine must first be considered when lifting, handling and moving objects within the data center. Safe lifting procedures must be employed, including appropriate muscle movement, certification or training on lifting equipment, and short carrying distances clear of debris.

 

 

Additional data center safety concerns include work in confined spaces, hygiene protocol, hearing protection, and cable/trip hazard management.

 

To learn more about maintaining data center uptime or to request a safety analysis of your facility, contact Critical Facilities Solutions today.

 

 

Original article here.