Employees don’t always stop to think about coolroom safety issues, nor do they pause when they’re accessing a freezer door for the millionth time. Maybe they should. Maybe they need to stop, take stock of matters, and read the laminated door safety guide, the one that’s stapled to a wall next to the commercial coolroom they’re accessing. To begin with, is everyone aware of the door access protocols?
Door Opening Protocols
In an office setting, workers close doors out of a sense of politeness. Proprietary aside, there may even be an office memo asking the staff to close the doors. That’s a privacy and energy-conserving strategy, of course. In coolrooms and freezers, the commercial models that are big enough to access, door seals are part of the large appliance’s working mechanism. For this reason, the door cannot be left open or ajar for any length of time. Bottom line, the door should be closed when it’s accessed and closed again when the employee leaves the confines of the coolroom environment.
Yes, proactive checks are incredibly important. There are seal checks and heater element inspections to conduct, which affect the energy efficiency of the refrigeration unit. Less obviously, properly operating door latches and seals keep the temperature predictably low, so the perishable items in that coolroom or freezer stay fresh. Equally importantly, transient stresses are placed on refrigeration equipment when the enclosure isn’t sealed properly. Stressed appliances age fast and fail prematurely.
Door-Specific Maintenance Checks
On watching a refrigeration engineer, he’s bent over the door, concentrating on his work. A lubricating gun is greasing the door hinges and latch mechanism. After the work is done, the oily traces are cleaned up and disposed of in a nearby bin . A clean cooling environment is essential after all, and grease can draw dirt like a magnet. If there’s a transparent plastic curtain behind the door, one made of flexible strips, the tech will also take this opportunity to replace any damaged or abraded strips.
There’s still more to do before the maintenance concludes. There’s maybe a heating element surrounding the door seal. Is that element functioning properly? Moreover, is the seal intact and still entirely flexible? For safety’s sake, the door latch must operate from the inside. Finally, just as a life-saving backup, the engineer moves away from the door. The lock-in alarm is tested, the button checked to make sure it’s fully functional, and the intercom, if one is provided, is used. Simply put, door safety and maintenance procedures should be conducted both inside and outside commercial coolrooms and freezers.