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Data Centre Safety Tips - Kee Safety
January 23, 2024

5 Fall Protection Safety Tips for Data Centres

The concept of “the cloud” to store an incalculable amount of computer data lifts our imaginations to the sky. We feel assured that our indispensable records are safe and sound “up there.” In reality, we know that the information is not floating in big, fluffy cumulus clouds. It is stored here on earth in mainframe computers housed in large data centres.

The computers need a vast amount of electrical power, and their environment must be temperature-controlled, low-humidity, and as free of contaminating dust as possible. This also requires considerable energy to run sophisticated heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, typically situated on the roof. 

Since any service interruption—including telecommunications— would be costly, the rooftop HVAC equipment should undergo frequent maintenance and inspections to help prevent downtime and minimize repairs. Just as the data centres safeguard digital files, their facility managers must ensure that workers performing these tasks have ample fall protection “up there.”

1. Enter the Safe Access Code

Entering or leaving the roof presents a binary danger, so every access point must be protected. Two common ways of egressing and ingressing are through roof hatches and fixed ladders.

Whatever type or style (e.g., standard, offset, double leaf), roof hatches should be surrounded by railings that have a self-closing gate to keep workers from falling back through the hatch.

For fixed ladders, the guardrails are set on both sides of where the ladder meets the roof. As with a roof hatch, a self-closing safety gate is at the point of access. Modular, pipe-fitted guardrails are installed without penetrating the roof and can be disassembled and reconfigured if the ladder access needs to be repositioned.

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