Safety Measures to Be Taken While Implementing and Deploying Data CentersJay Burse
Safety First! Yes, as simple as this phrase may sound, but it is also the most crucial element in the process that involves implementing, deploying, and for that matter, even designing data centers. Years ago, when the data center industry was thriving, the efficiency and deployment time of the facility were emphasized. With time, the data center industry has observed a significant culture shift, which emphasized the safety of the data center engineers, electrical field engineers, electrical contractors, and everyone who does the energized work.
Here I’ve compiled a list of few key points that’ll help you stay safe and ensure the safety of your team while implementing and deploying data centers:
1. Do Energized Work Only When Necessary
First things first, you need to define energized work for your organization. Some organizations consider that energized work is done when data center engineers touch live equipment, while some consider any work done after an engineer enters the data center room with live equipment as energized work. Define the standards for your organization and allow little or no energized work.
2. Perform Risk Assessment Before Starting
Before starting to work on any data center project, you as a data center manager along with the workers that are actually going to work on the site, need to assess the risk involved in the course of completion of the work. All the equipment to be used by the engineers and workers need to be checked before in hand for damage and other issues.
3. Abide By the Electrical Safety Rules
There are two simple electrical safety principles that everyone working with live equipment should know. These are: Avoid and Protect. One needs to avoid electrical hazards as much as you can, and when you’re absolutely unable to avoid, you need to make sure to protect yourself and your team. Make sure you always use or have the personal protective equipment handy so you can use it whenever required.
4. Be Careful When Working at Heights
Working at heights can be dangerous for data center construction engineers and workers. Accidental falls from heights or while climbing ladders are some of the most common causes of injuries at data center building sites. Risk awareness and assessment measures need to be taken by inspecting the project site. You need to make sure that the workers follow a strong safety protocol while working at heights. Inspect equipment involved in working at heights and check for damage regularly.
5. Taking Precautions While Lifting and Handling Devices
Just as working at heights, lifting weights is a part of the data center construction process. Assessments such as the amount of weight that can be lifted by a single person or a group of individuals and what equipments may be required for weightlifting are crucial to being done before the work starts. Later, there will be urgency for the work to be completed and safety might get neglected.
6. Be Cautious While Doing the Hot Work
To avoid hazards related to heat and fire, again, assessment and evaluation is the key. Your hot work management strategy should be in place. Avoid hot work as much as you can and at times you can’t avoid, be extremely cautious. And the moment you know something is about to go wrong; just make sure you relocate yourself and your team.
7. Handling Hazardous Energy
Data center projects might require you to work on various forms of hazardous energy like electrical, chemical, mechanical, hydraulic, thermal, and many more. So you need to make sure to clearly identify, assess, and document procedures for working with the energy in any of these forms. For devices that involve handling of energy, proper Lock Out-Tag Out (LOTO) procedures must be documented and followed.
Safety Matters, Even in the Data Center Industry!
Life is precious and you never know what tomorrow brings in to your life. Forget about the things that you can’t control anyway but when you know you can, you need to be very careful and avoid putting yourself into unnecessary dangers.
Apart from the tips mentioned above, simple safety considerations in today’s data center industry like confining entry, documenting and circulating safety measures, enforcing safety rules, and keeping safety equipment handy can be easily followed by data center operators. With the help of these intelligent safety measures, you can protect your engineers and contractors, ensure uptimes, and satisfy your customers at the same time. You don’t have to choose!