Be Present. Be Focused. Be Safe.
As per OSHA stats, out of every 5,000 private-industry worker fatalities, 20 percent is in construction. That means one out of every five worker deaths is construction-related!
The continued increase in data storage and consumption and the burgeoning enterprise demand for cloud computing are expected to drive data center construction growth. The global data center construction market valued at USD 207.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand 6.4% from 2020 to 2027.
Need for Data Center Safety is Compelling
Today’s data centers are far more comprehensive and consume more energy than could have been imagined just a couple of years ago. The data centers use about 30 times the power needed to run the average-sized office building. In total, that’s about 80 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year, which contributes ample opportunities for danger. Construction in the data center industry also results in many non-fatal injuries that cost companies millions of dollars per year. The advantages of data center safety are well worth the costs. The upshots of electrical accidents in a data center can be frightful. Some studies estimate that the minimum price of an electrical accident is $1.5 million. Typically, affected workers spend 8-12 months away from work, with the possibility of permanent disability. Other after-effects include an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) investigation, protracted legal proceedings, and, most tragic, the loss of human life.
The OSHA routinely imposes significant fines on companies for not following proper safety guidelines. The “fatal four” injuries that contributed to 57 percent of the fatalities in the construction industry were falls, caught between objects, electrocutions, and struck by objects. Since the inception of OSHA, these injury numbers are down significantly — approximately 65 percent — even as construction workers have doubled. However, at the same time, the fatality rates have plateaued and it is essential to adopt construction innovations to embrace safety and efficiency at the same time. Today’s data center owners and providers face a unique balancing act. They work on the fence between ensuring the safety of personnel, facilities, and equipment while maintaining 24/7/365 disposal of mission-critical systems.
What Holistic Safety means to us
As safety and health must be part of every operation in our business. At Direct Line (DL), prevention of occupationally induced injury or illness is given precedence over operating productivity. The personal safety and health of the employee’s at Direct Line are of primary importance. We follow all guidelines to plan, build and manage our projects. DL is committed to safety being a priority throughout every area of our company. We have an unyielding commitment to the health and safety of our employees, subcontractors, technicians, customers, and the community. We will continually improve our operations, demonstrate leadership, and practice safety in all we do.
In the construction industry, safety is a value and ritual shared by all. Our objective is to promote comprehensive safety to reduce injuries and illnesses to an absolute minimum; our goal is zero accident, zero-incident workplace. The week of May 3rd thru 7th is recognized as Construction Safety Week. In this weeklong event, companies recommit to sending every worker home safe each day. We organized a company safety stand-down training and the fall protection awareness toolbox talk on more than 15 sites to mark our contribution towards Construction Safety Week. Direct Line is proud to see the participation on the field honoring safety as our #1 priority and celebrating each employee’s commitment to safety.
Datacenter operators and providers must follow guidelines, processes, and policies to mitigate risk. This begins with embracing a safety culture every day and understanding and observing the standards—such as NFPA, IEEE, and OSHA —for facilities that involve electrical equipment. Datacenter infrastructure providers must ensure that workers follow safety guidelines, have the appropriate PPE equipment for the tasks at hand, use informative warning labels, and comply with safe working areas. Finally, all employees must understand the intrinsic risks of working in a construction facility and exercise utmost caution and common sense.