Good Catch Spotlight - Mechanical Room Hazards

Incident Type – Unsafe Condition

Incident Summary – A mechanical room was found to be unsecured, allowing unauthorized access, with a large amount of supplies, some of which were inflammable, blocking and leaning against an electrical distribution center. Any type of spark or heat from the electrical panels could have caught the materials on fire easily and caused serious property damage and/or injuries. The debris and equipment in front of the panels were possible tripping hazards and could have prohibited quick access for emergency service if maintenance was necessary.

Corrective Actions – Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) immediately contacted the Building Coordinator and Zone Leader responsible for the building and notified them of the serious hazard in the mechanical space. The Zone Leader responded that their team removed the materials immediately from the space and cleaned around the electrical distribution center. The Zone Leader also stated they would ensure the doors to this space would be locked in the future to prevent similar incidents.

items cleared from in front of an electrical panelAdditional Information – All mechanical spaces on campus should perform routine housekeeping practices and prevent unauthorized access because many of these spaces contain numerous hazards that should be accessed only by trained individuals. All electric panels should be accessible, free from obstructions, have a secure cover, door in the closed position, and properly labeled to ensure efficient and safe response to emergencies or necessary service to equipment.


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