Coolroom Safety Precautions for Employees

21 May 2018

Coolrooms don’t look all that dangerous. It’s freezing cold in there, especially inside a walk-in freezer, but the chill passes rapidly. The staff member gets in, collects or drops food, and is out again in no time at all. What about worst-case scenarios? They exist. And what about general precautions? They’re needed if the employee is to operate under an appliance-mandated umbrella of safety.

Warehouse Coolroom Safety

Sometimes the work area isn’t confined to a walk-in enclosure. Sometimes the chill is all around you. In some distant industrial complex, it’s a meat processing environment that’s feeling the chill. Plastic curtains are swinging as a ceiling-mounted refrigeration unit roars in the background. In front of the employees, a stainless steel conveyor system is transporting joints of beef. Of some concern, the damp and freezing conditions are hampering productivity. Chilblains, a circulatory problem, are slowing down the work. Another staff member is labouring hard, but his hands are trembling badly. Floor-installed warming plates and radiant heaters protect workers. Reinforce that move by shortening the work shifts. A ten-minute break could make all the difference.

Walk-in Coolroom Protection

Walk-in units carry a unique set of risk factors. What if you’re in there alone? The door is damaged, it hasn’t been reported to maintenance, and now the exit is jammed. As said mentioned earlier, a quick dip inside the frosty chamber won’t cause any problems, but an extended stay definitely will. Avoid this situation by always working with a co-worker. If that rule is broken, then you need to know that you have options. A high-quality door mechanism minimizes such incidents. Furthermore, a panic button, alarm indicator, or intercom, should be in place inside the insulated coolroom. Armed with this precautionary measure, the employee can always call for assistance when the door fails. Even if the door is functioning properly, a patch of ice or some other unforeseen event could render the worker incapable of action. Without a co-worker, an alarm system is an essential measure.

Finally, there are hygiene and technical risk factors. If an electrical system is damaged, perhaps the wires are exposed, then you must never touch those exposed parts. The ice and steel in there could function as a strong grounding path, so an electrical shock could prove fatal. Similarly, patches of mold or bacterial-laced growths are unlikely inside a space that’s designed to arrest biological development. Still, if these growths are detected, report them immediately, fill in an incident report, and wash your hands. Above all else, always dress warmly when working in this setting.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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