The Importance of Strict Safety Protocols in the Solar Installation Industry
Ensuring the safety and well-being of your employees should always be a number one priority for any business. In an industry like solar, the need for stringent protocols and safe measures is even greater, especially when you have crew members working through hot days, installing equipment on rooftops or working with intricate wiring.
In solar panel installations, there are four particular safety areas that we put a keen focus on to keep everyone on our team healthy as they work diligently to install panels and give our customers the power to own and generate their energy.
- Heat Safety
It’s crucial to be prepared for the potential for heat illness when sending workers out to install panels on a hot day. In order to limit our crews’ risk of heat illness, Sunworks and Solcius equip worksites with a variety of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep teams safe on high-temp workdays. These include:
- Hydrating drinkable PPE mix-ins and electrolyte freeze pops to help prevent heat stress, accidents or injuries, muscle cramps and more
- EZ UP tents onsite to increase shaded areas for resting
- Onsite ice chests filled with bottled water
- Cooling towels
- Fall Protection
Fall protection safety standards are one of the most important requirements to follow in our line of work. We require our team to complete proper fall protection training courses and adhere to the Sunworks safety plan as it relates to safe practices in rooftop installations. We also conduct a full fall protection analysis of each project to anticipate any potential threats before the job begins. To mitigate fall risk, Sunworks and Solcius arm construction teams with:
- Fall protective harnesses, ropes, anchors, shock packs, etc. (specialized to the industry)
- Position devices, as needed
- Hand-operated panel lifts
- Driver Welfare
Each team member undergoes a training/safety class at new hire orientation specifically focused on driving. We also have GPS systems on all vehicles in our fleet and monitor driving records for all of our designated drivers on a daily and monthly basis to ensure that we’re not putting our drivers or others on the road at any type of potential risk. Lastly, we have a fleet management safety program that we follow stringently, which serves as an extra layer of safety as it relates to driver protection.
- Electrical Precautions
Solar panels, by design, include many elements that conduct electricity so our team must be properly educated and equipped to mitigate potential accidents that can happen, like thermal burns; nerve damage and more. Besides implementing a strict electrical safety policy for our team to follow to the very best of their ability, here are some of the ways we prepare our team for electrical work and keep them safe from its dangers:
- Inspect equipment routinely to ensure it’s working properly
- Prohibit work on live electrical equipment by way of company policy
- Audit the worksite to determine that the crew has a safe distance from nearby or overhead power lines
- Provide proper PPE for workers who operate any potentially liable equipment
- Solcius electricians are equipped with CAL 12 suits
- Sunworks’ electricians are provided CAL 40 suits
- Routine trainings for NFPA 70e are extended to all Sunworks’ electricians
Safety is a Non-Negotiable at Sunworks and Solcius
Beyond our company safety policies and PPE, we also have a corporate safety manager that stays in step with the latest industry standards and routinely looks for new ways to guarantee that our installation protocols are the safest and most efficient in the business. Our safety manager also holds workshops, travels to different offices and stays in constant contact with team members at every level to keep all staff up to date on the latest and greatest Sunworks and Solcius installation safety standards.
Rooftop solar installation and construction has its share of risk, which is why we do everything in our power to create and enforce a safe work environment to ensure our team is as protected as possible from the potential harms of the business.