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Data centers contain critical company infrastructure and private customer information. These assets must be kept secure and functional 24/7 to maintain and enhance company business and brand reputation.
But it is not just the data and equipment that is essential to data center functionality—how do companies put worker safety and well-being, along with environmental health and safety (EHS) compliance as a top priority, while meeting the rigorous demands of business objectives?
LIFE IN THE DATA CENTER
RECOGNIZING COMMON HAZARDS FOR DATA CENTER WORKERS
A WORKER’S ROLE IN DATA CENTERS
PROTECTING A COMPANY’S MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS
HOW TO KEEP WORKER SAFETY A PRIORITY
Data centers contain critical company infrastructure and private customer information. These assets must be kept
secure and functional 24/7 to maintain and enhance company business and brand reputation.
But it is not just the data and equipment that is essential to data center functionality—how do companies put
worker safety and well-being, along with environmental health and safety (EHS) compliance as a top priority,
while meeting the rigorous demands of business objectives?
Data center employees are highly educated, well trained and dedicated to company reputation, and are the most
important asset to a company. Some hazards that should be eliminated and/or controlled, which could impact the
well-being of data center workers, include:
DATA CENTER BUSINESS DRIVERS
The data center market is estimated to grow at 11.4 percent CAGR (Compound Annual
Growth Rate) from 2015 to 2020.1
As organizations grow and IT becomes increasingly more
sophisticated, specialized solutions and procedures are required.
Data centers consume 100 to 200 times more electricity than standard oﬃce spaces.3
such large power consumption, there is a constant need to re-evaluate energy eﬃcient design
measures to reduce cost and electricity usage, along with focusing on renewable energy
sources to enhance brand reputation.
As a data center requires continuous functionality, any downtime is expensive. The average
cost of data center outages is $627,418, ranging from $74,000 to $1.7 million.2
Every year, more than 400 fatalities and nearly 10,000 serious injuries occur because of
electrocution and related incidents—the biggest issue is arc-ﬂash incidents.4
workers authorized for speciﬁc tasks and utilizing safe work practices are crucial to avoid
electrical exposure and injuries. Critical procedures and components include adherence to
electrical SOPs, arc ﬂash boundaries, insulated tools, LOTO controls and proper PPE.
EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY BALANCE
Power and cooling requirements have become major factors in the sustainment and growth
of data centers, but energy eﬃciency initiatives can also have side eﬀects that could impact
workers such as extreme heat or noise. An environment must be created and monitored
where both equipment and humans can function safely.
EMERGENCY BACKUP BATTERIES / UPS SYSTEMS
Uninterruptible power supply/backup systems can expose workers to hazards such as exposed
electrical connections, chemicals and material handling issues. Mishandling can lead to spills
and exposure. Ensure proper training on use, handling and spill response.
EHS REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
Environmental and safety compliance requirements change over time. Consult national,
regional and local regulations to align policy and training to the most current standards.
ENGAGE THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS AT EVERY PHASE
Operations and EHS experts should be included during the data center design and
launch, and qualiﬁed EHS personnel should review any updates planned to a data
center facility for worker safety and usability.
ENHANCE SAFETY AWARENESS AND WORKER TRAINING
Worker safety goes beyond the initial training session. Continuously provide training
updates to maintain awareness of hazards and updated safety procedures.
MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
Make sure that EHS procedures and awareness are reviewed and updated when
any equipment or process changes in the data center. Always factor in aﬀected
worker’s feedback and safety needs to go beyond strict compliance.
Learn more about how to eliminate environment, health and safety risks that impact your people, your
brand and your customers so you can focus on growing your business: http://us.anteagroup.com
1 – https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/2842396/data-center-security-market-by-solution-by-
2 – http://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/incentivesbyindustry/
3 – http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/documentation/en-us/brands/liebert/documents/
4 – http://www.datacenterjournal.com/electrical-safety-programs-risk-citation/