Pursuant to announcement on June 30, 2022, this article has been updated from the previously branded “Safe Host” to “STACK Infrastructure,” “STACK,” or “STACK EMEA – Switzerland” to reflect the current branding.
An Interview with Enrico Neumann, Safety and Security Manager at STACK EMEA – Switzerland
During a pandemic, in order to respect stringent health & safety measures for the staff involved, data centers (with ongoing construction in their multiple sites) have put in place precautionary measures such as no movement of staff between shifts, no movement of staff between sites as well as no contact handovers, and masks worn at all times.
Our health and safety team on the ground in Switzerland have remained alert to changing outbreak conditions, including any federal guidance that has been provided on evolving risk levels as well as any local news on the spread of the virus in the areas surrounding the data center, and have implemented all infection prevention measures accordingly. We discussed how these procedures have been and continue to be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with our health and safety manager.
How was the health & safety program developed for the premises?
We divided the building into seven perimeters in order to limit contact; construction within security zone 1-4, customers in security zone 5, infrastructure telecommunications room in security zone 6 and the operations center in security zone 7.
This method provides control on different access points of the building and also limits access between the different zones for the security of the staff and customers.
It was mandatory to assess the hazards to which workers may have to be exposed, evaluate the risk of exposure, and select, implement, and ensure workers use applicable controls to prevent vulnerability in the various zones.
How was the health & safety program implemented?
During the course of the day, as construction workers picked up their badge and put on the appropriate health & safety equipment, they had to keep a distance of two meters at all times. The health & safety team had to be informed of any scheduled and unscheduled breaks.
Following additional federal guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge was to proactively engage with the problem while considering the health and safety regulations already in place. The number of personnel required for construction works can be quite significant and therefore it was necessary to consider how this would affect the operational side. This meant that the whole planning process required a tremendous amount of additional time to organize.
All the construction works are scheduled on a weekly basis; this enables us to have a high-level view of the works scheduled and taking place and therefore be able to plan our week better.
Access points for staff were and are continuously completely separated. Furthermore, the construction area was enlarged with additional containers for the breakfast & lunch area.
There is sufficient space within the site for everyone to follow the guidelines without any issues. These measures help to provide a safe and secure working environment for staff as well as pushing for only necessary contact with customers should they need to visit the site.
How are staff compliance rates? Has this affected the speed of construction?
Training spaces have been enlarged so staff can follow the mandatory health and safety training programs which remind everyone of current and evolving protocols. There are enforced patrols in place that ensure staff safety and security. Should there be any non-compliance, there is immediate intervention from the security team.
We record all non-conforming situations that have been reported. We have continuous security checks in place to ensure that health & safety measures are always kept.
The speed of construction works has been necessarily slowed down because of the pandemic. The trainings and patrols in place inevitably also take staff time and there is the consideration of additional capacities such as weather which can have an effect as well.
Are health & safety checks audited? Do you have an external provider to help you?
In addition to the Federal health and safety program in place, daily and weekly risk assessments have been implemented. We must budget for additional health & safety providers that help us organize our programs.
An external health & safety provider has been recruited to aid with any professional views including weekly reports. This organization helps with challenging the current health & safety program to provide continuous improvement. We are also audited on everything in order to place checks on our standard operating procedures and other administrative controls. Balance of staff safety and availability is a high priority. It is important also to note that pandemic health & safety measures are dynamic and must be monitored daily. Therefore, an organized health & safety action program is key when protecting staff within a data center construction zone.
ABOUT STACK INFRASTRUCTURE
STACK provides digital infrastructure to scale the world’s most innovative companies. With a client-first approach, STACK delivers a comprehensive suite of campus, build-to-suit, colocation, and powered shell solutions in the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. With robust existing and flexible expansion capacity in the leading availability zones, STACK offers the scale and geographic reach that rapidly growing hyperscale and enterprise companies need. The world runs on data. And data runs on STACK.
For more information about STACK, please visit: https://www.stackinfra.com.