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Mechanical Services

Designers Knowledge Base


In specifying mechanical services the designer should be aware of, and assess the risks from, the following principal hazards

Some principal hazards and risks

  • falling from height whilst installing, commissioning and maintaining equipment. Existing floor openings, voids etc.
  • manual handling of heavy, bulky and awkwardly shaped mechanical equipment
  • hazardous substances such as explosive gas, dusts or vapours, welding fumes, refrigerants, steam etc
  • pressurised systems as in refrigeration plant, steam boilers, compressed, air systems etc.
  • restricted access for installation, maintenance, replacement and repair
  • contact with hazardous surfaces such as hot and cold surfaces, sharp corners and edges.

Some design options

The designer should consider possible design options which could remove or mitigate the hazards such as:

  • understand the need to consider the space required in plant rooms for the safe installation, maintenance and repair of plant items. Specify permanent , guarded catwalks and stairs to items of plant at high level
  • design plant room layout to avoid pipes and ducts at low levels. Avoid tripping hazards and projecting parts
  • consider manual handling constraints
  • consider the specification of plant items to eliminate or reduce common hazards such as: non-toxic, non-flammable refrigerants, non-pressurised systems such as low temperature hot water heating systems