Safety is always paramount on any construction project, but increased diligence during startup and commissioning is crucial because, with so many activities happening at once, the possibility of accidents occurring goes up significantly.
Having detailed commissioning and safety plans in place is the first and most important step in ensuring a safe process, followed closely by effective communication. In all likelihood, there will be problems that will require repairs, changes and workarounds, so clearly communicating any departures from the original plan to all parties involved is vital.
Here are some other key elements to safety during startup and commissioning:
Conduct safety walkdowns on a daily basis.
Lockout/tagout must be followed to a “T” for all locking and unlocking of equipment ready for startup.
Start off each day with an early morning huddle meeting with all lead MEP trade representatives to discuss who will be working on what systems that day, what support will be needed by each trade or vendor, and at what times.
MEP leads must have constant radio communication to coordinate efforts and inform others of all progress, changes or setbacks to keep everyone safe and on the same page.
Cross-check between all crews and trades on site to make sure a system is safely ready to go.
Encourage workers to report any problems, safety issues, or anomalies as they can sometimes crop up in unexpected areas during startup and commissioning
Trades should meet again at the end of each day to determine whether work should continue on a second shift, or whether new safety procedures need to be put in place before the next morning’s activities.
Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.