Confirm the safety and efficiency of industrial and commercial premises

 

Safety Inspection and Risk SurveySafety Inspection and Risk Survey

Is your factory safe? Are your suppliers facilities safe? Are you at risk of failure?

Complex industrial processes rely totally on Plant and Services. They must run efficently and reliably. Safety is of total importance. Legal penalties for an industrial accident are severe, but also the commercial consequences of a break in the supply chain or media feedback following an accident could be enough to threaten the viability of any business.

Engineering services

In business reputation is everything. Ensure yours remains intact by running regular safety inspections and factory tests on yours and your suppliers premises.

AEM provides multi-skilled engineering teams to look at facilities to assess their safety in terms of provision, condition, operational readiness and the degree of readiness of the site to react to an emergency.

We have extensive expertise in electrical and mechanical plant gained from 25 years' experience in aerospace, general industrial, garment and other sector manufacturing, commercial, healthcare and the power sector.

Safety InspectionDownload our Facility Inspection fact sheet

Multi-Discipline Facility Integrity Testing:
  • Fire safety, detection and suppression - conformance and functionality tests
  • Means of escape including signage, exit routes, means of escape and escape lighting
  • Electrical safety including Thermographic Assessments
  • Rotating Machinery and Process Systems
  • Pressurised Steam and Compressed Air Systems including assessment of boiler condition and controls
  • Building and Structural
  • Lifts and Hoists
  • Mechanical and general safety (belt guards, handrails etc)


Electrical Safety Inspection and SurveyElectrical Safety Audit

Electrical systems represent a significant hazard to safety if poorly designed, implemented or maintained.

Electrical safety

It is essential that all electrical systems are tested before and during installation, and in final commissioning, and then on a regular basis as part of a routine maintenance procedure.

Absolute temperature and unexpected differences across equipment can identify potential problems at an early stage, allowing corrective measures to be taken in a pre-emptive manner with trigger levels indicating immediate or long term remedial actions depending on severity.

AEM are specialists in the testing and commissioning of all electrical power and distribution equipment, protection and control schemes.


Typical scope
  • Comment on design suitability against end user requirements and physical environment - high temperature, vibration,,explosive atmospheres, risk of chemical attack, physical damage etc
  • Adequacy of specified circuit current ratings to suit connected loads
  • Proper discrimination achieved to ensure smallest rated protection nearest the load will cut first in case of short circuit, minimizing let-through energy and avoiding widespread power cuts
  • Cable size being suitable in its actual installation environment to carry the required current
  • Protective devices (fuses and circuit breakers) having correct ratings to protect downstream cable or busbar
  • Proper current and tripping response characteristics set into adjustable protective devices - not just random or default manufacturer's original factory settings!
  • Witnessing or conducting sample formal tests such as insulation measurement, earth loop impedance, RCD tripping time and current tests, injection testing of main switchgear, torque checks for major bolted electrical connections
  • Electric motors properly protected by correct upstream overload protection
  • Soft starters and inverters properly set up for control and ramp-up, with adequate air filtration and forced ventilation to avoid overheating and fire risk in service
  • Proper earthing and bonding provisions
  • Adequate workmanship on site
  • Tightness of electrical connections
  • Cables undamaged, properly supported and unstressed by sharp bending radius
  • Fitting of proper barriers and insulators
  • No rubbish inside electrical enclosures that could move and cause short circuit or fire
  • Positions of conductors suitable to avoid damage from abrasion contact from vibration later in service
  • Correct and permanent labels for switchgear, circuits and major cables etc
  • Operating and Maintenance manuals adequate to allow continued safe use of the plant in later service
  • Evidence of proper training of end users to understand features and maintenance needs impacting on safety
  • Proper test and commissioning records and accurate as-fitted drawings

 

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Fire Safety Inspection and SurveyFire Integrity Assesment

AEM will comment on design provision with considerations such as:

  • Means of escape
  • Access and emergency access control
  • Safe exit provision - signage, exit routes and lighting
  • External Assembly Point and Procedures
  • Automatic Fire Safety System
  • Fire and Smoke Ventilation
  • Sprinkler Protection System
  • Gaseous Suppression System
  • Firefighting Systems
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • Hydrants (Street and Interior)
  • Other Building System Interfaces
  • Backup Generator System
  • MVAC System
  • Lift System
  • Other Safety Issues

Fire Safety failure
Assessment Approach

Our clients usually need three levels of assessment:

Fire Safety signage
Stage One - Basic Obligations

What was legally required by the country code at the time of the original construction of the factory and what is legally required to be in place today.

Stage Two - Present Condition

Whether legally required or otherwise, do the systems in place really work?

We will stress test the facility's systems, carrying out both visual assessment and real-life checking of performance. Many basic checks produce bad news:

  • Is there water in the fire fighting tank? Do tanks leak if refilled?
  • Do engine driven and electric fire pumps work? Are the batteries good and is there fuel in the tank?
  • Are fire water distribution systems maintained - valves not stuck or closed, hoses not perished or damaged by rodents etc, keys available to turn on outside fire hydrants?
  • Are the batteries of fire alarm systems in good condition?
  • If we carry out a surprise fire drill, are staff trained to evacuate?
  • Is there proper escape signage and means to overcome electric locks or normal security?
  • Are escape routes kept clear?
  • Do fire alarm call points, smoke detectors, sprinkler zone switches etc work to raise the fire alarm?

These are only a portion of the areas that need attention to make sure a fire emergency is detected and dealt with quickly, safely and with least possible damage.

Stage Three - Options for Improvement

What options do we have to upgrade our fire installations to achieve:

  • Adequate / better safety standards
  • Fire insurance premium reductions
  • Clear evidence to our clients that we value our staff, our buildings and our clients' work in progress

We can assess against international best practice from UK NFPA Codes, UK CIBSE Codes as well as checking agaianst up to date country regulations.

We will identify gaps and opportunities with an agreed scoring approach that can be flexibly based on risk, scale of problem, cost of improvement, speed and difficulty etc.


 

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Swimming Pool and Spa SafetySwimming Pool and Spa Safety

Facilities containing pools and spas carry a heavy responsibility for their operators. The danger of entrapment is real and can result in tragedy.

To minimise the risk to customers it is wise to confirm that facilities are designed and constructed to appropriate international standards and design principles.

Swimming pool safety

There are many ways in which a user can become entrapped:

  • Hair Entanglement accounts for 35% of reported cases and results when a swimmer's hair becomes knotted around a drain grille cover. Risk relates to outlet grille size and flow speed.
  • Body Entrapment, representing 33% of cases, occurs if a swimmer's body covers a drain grille cover and the suction force is too great for the swimmer to be freed. This problem is a function of outlet grille design and drainage layout.
  • Limb Entrapment causes 28% of incidents when, typically, a child's limb is sucked in to a drain pipe. This can occur even if the pump is off and often requires surgery to free the victim. This problem usually arises due to incorrect outlet maintenance.

 

Solutions like Vacuum Breaking systems may already be installed, but will only be effective for preventing full body entrapment - so these are not effective for 67% of reported cases.

AEM can quickly assess if a pool or spa meets the requirements detailed in International Standard BS EN 13451-3 + A2, the recommendations of the US Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and the PWTAG Code of Practice.


 

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Electrical Safety Inspection and SurveyInfrared Thermographic Survey

A versatile and powerful technique, conducted using the latest generation of FLIR cameras, quickly and safely reveals temperature related problems. Reduces proximity to hazardous operating plant.

Overheating in plant and electrical equipment is indicative of maintenance issues, waste and potential hazard. Our founder Phil Healey originally had UK Government employment with Authorised Person Responsibility for operation and maintenance of 415 Volt and 11,000 Volt power distributions systems and has embraced the use of high resolution FLIR infrared cameras for over ten years as a diagnostic tool.

Absolute temperature and unexpected differences across equipment can identify potential problems at an early stage, allowing corrective measures to be taken in a pre-emptive manner with trigger levels indicating immediate or long term remedial actions depending on severity.

Today AEM provide both one-off and annually repeated Infrared Thermographic Safety Inspections and other imaging services to many premier organisations. We use the latest generation of calibrated FLIR cameras and conduct the surveys following USA Code NFPA 70B (2010 edition) methodology to ensure the rigour and accuracy of our results.

Applicable to:

  • Main Switch Rooms - LV cubicles, busbar sections, circuit breakers, cables, HV circuits, switchgear, cables, transformers, tripping systems, metering
  • Power Distribution - Field power distribution load centres and distribution boards including incoming cables, protective devices and outgoing cable terminations
  • MVAC Systems - Chillers, cooling towers and air handling units (excluding fan coil units)
  • Air Compressors and Waste Treatment plant - Air compressors, power supply cables and internal wiring), pump and blower motors, starters and cable connections
  • Process Plant - Paint booths, autoclave, blasting enclosures, temperature controlled process enclosures and associated fusing machines, ovens, autoclaves, scrubbers etc - fans and pumps, control panels. Chemical plating equipment and water purification plant
  • Other Operational Systems - Other systems to be as agreed subject to time constraint at site during survey

 


 

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