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Ensuring Safety in Air-Conditioning Unit Installation and Maintenance: Insights from MOM Circular 2024-05

Ensuring Safety in Air-Conditioning Unit Installation and Maintenance: Insights from MOM Circular 2024-05

In the building maintenance domain, the installation and upkeep of air-conditioning condensing units (air-con units) are critical tasks often involving high-risk work at heights. Recent incidents underscore the importance of stringent safety protocols, as highlighted in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) circular 2024-05, jointly issued with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Understanding the Risks: 

The circular begins with poignant case studies of accidents involving air-con technicians, emphasizing the tragic outcomes of inadequate safety measures. These incidents serve as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with working on externally mounted air-con units.

Key Safety Measures: 

To mitigate these risks, MOM and BCA mandate that only Trained Air-con Unit Installers (TAIs) can carry out installations. Compliance with Building Control Regulations and rigorous structural support standards is non-negotiable. Before commencing work, site-specific risk assessments must identify and address potential hazards, ensuring all workers are briefed and equipped to handle the tasks safely.

Preventing Falls: 

A central focus of the circular is on preventing falls from height (FFH), which can be achieved through the deployment of Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) and secure anchor devices. These measures not only protect workers but also safeguard bystanders from falling objects by implementing strict area cordoning protocols.

Implementing Safety: 

Despite the challenges posed by the industry’s dynamic nature, MOM and BCA provide comprehensive resources and support to facilitate compliance with safety standards. Practical examples of structural deterioration and effective area cordoning techniques are highlighted to guide stakeholders in operationalizing these safety measures.

Conclusion: 

MOM circular 2024-05 stands as a pivotal document in enhancing workplace safety within the air-conditioning industry. By promoting adherence to stringent safety measures and providing clear guidelines, regulatory bodies aim to foster a culture of safety, reducing the incidence of FFH accidents and ensuring a safer working environment for all.

 

Reference: 

https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/safety-health/circulars/2024/circular-20240603-installation-and-maintenance-of-air-con.pdf

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