The Installation team shall provide a safe and healthy workplace for all persons. This shall be achieved in conjunction with effective implementation of EcoSoch’s Occupational Safety and Health Management System program through the consensus effort of Management, Employees and Contractors.
Installation of anchor bolts and safety lines along the perimeter of the work area is the first step towards ensuring a safe work area. The installers have been educated to hook themselves to these safety lines whilst walking along the perimeter.
Safety ropes are available with adequate length to ensure that installers would be able to reach the edge of the work area
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Safety guard is available for all tools like the hand cutting machine and the installers also use gloves & goggles whilst operating the machine.
Industry Standard Tools
EcoSoch uses industry standard tools for installation work. For example, EcoSoch uses the industrial junction box (with RCCB) and 100m of 3 core electrical cable for operating the tools.
Post Installation Safety
EcoSoch is mindful of providing safety even after the installation is completed and ensures the same – whether it be providing end caps for structure, Danger & Warning stickers, safety cage for inverters, fire extinguishers, sealing all openings to prevent ingress of insects, insulating mat for LT/HT panel, etc.
Delivery of solar equipment is a risky business. Lifting and arranging unwieldy solar panels, the potential for breakage during transport, loading and unloading, material pilferage at site – these are some of the serious issues that solar installers face. They’re also subject to the risks of fall of workers during delivery from rooftop, fall of materials whilst lifting using rope – some of the most injury-prone occupations around.
At EcoSoch, we have standardized the procedure for delivery of solar panels and other equipment to site in a safe and secure manner. Proper training and a training manual (SOP) for the Logistics in charge as well as the supervisor who is overseeing the packing, loading and unloading of materials from store to site has been provided.
No two work-sites are the same. Before a delivery begins, it’s essential for the team to visit the site, identify the safety risks and develop specific plans for addressing them. Plans should include:
- Equipment to be used for safe lifting and handling of solar panels
- Type and size of ladders and scaffolding if needed
- Fall protection for rooftop work
- Personal protective equipment for each worker
- Whether the truck can fully reach the site or if it needs to be parked away from the site and then delivered with the help of more labor.
- Whether the site is in a congested area where the truck cannot be parked for long hours and delivery can be done only during night time (off-peak hours)
All equipment needed for the job should be inspected and verified to be in good working order before being brought to the work-site.
Packing and Loading materials onto the truck
If each panel has a cardboard box of its own, then they are grouped together and covered with one layer of bubble wrap
If the panels don’t have a cardboard box, then each panel should be bubble wrapped with 2 layers.
The panels are loaded onto the truck first using 2 labors for each panel. One labor should not handle the panel.
The panels are secured to the side of the truck using rope or Strapping Packing Tool Kit (Ratchet Tensioner + Crimper + Strap + Clip) as shown below:
Then the foundations are loaded onto the truck away from the panels and ensured that they are also secured using a rope so that they don’t slide or topple onto the panels.
Next, the inverters are loaded and secured to the truck.
The remaining materials are loaded like mounting structures and ensured that none of them are touching the panels.
After loading all materials, it is ensured that none of the materials are wobbling. During transport, there are risks of material toppling over or sliding. Both incidents should not happen, and it is the responsibility of the Logistics-in-charge to ensure that all materials are secure.
The Logistics-in-charge would signal the driver to start the truck only after ensuring that the materials are secure and photos of the packing & loading are taken.
Unloading materials from the truck and Delivery to site
Before unloading, the areas where the materials would be stored are identified first. The panels, mounting structures and foundations should be stored on the roof (either in a room on the roof or open terrace) whereas the electrical items (inverters, DBs, etc) should be stored inside a secure room.
If the site has movement of general public like school, college, etc then the materials should be placed under lock & key to prevent theft. The lock should be supplied by the customer and materials would be the responsibility of the customer after delivery.
The electrical items are unloaded first and delivered to the secure room. Next the smaller items like nuts and bolts are unloaded which should also be stored in the room.
The foundations are unloaded and delivered to the identified area on the roof. The foundations must be placed in a location where there is no movement of personnel – along the wall or in a corner.
The foundations are not placed where it would be difficult for the installation team to remove it later for installation.
The mounting structures are unloaded and delivered to the identified area on the roof.
Finally, the panels are unloaded and taken to the roof either using 2 labors for each panel along the stairs or pulled using a rope. The panels are carried using both hands and the junction box or cables should not be used as a grip.
Solar panels are heavy and awkward to lift and carry. Loading and unloading panels from trucks and onto roofs can cause strains, sprains, muscle pulls and back injuries as well as cumulative trauma that stresses the spine. The panels can also heat up quickly when exposed to sunlight, causing burns if not handled safely.
One should never climb ladders while carrying solar panels. To get solar panels onto rooftops, we use properly inspected cranes, hoists or ladder-based winch systems.
The flattened cardboard boxes are placed as a protective mat on terrace floor and then the panels are stored on top of these flattened boxes. The panel sides also need to be covered with these flattened boxes to ensure that there is no ingress of water into these panels. Then these panels are covered with tarpaulin as shown below:
We stack the panels together and ensure that they will not topple over or slide. Then we fully cover them with tarpaulin sheet and ensure that no part of the panel is exposed to the elements.
Inverters are stored inside and not outside where it would be exposed to the elements. In case, the inverters need to stored in the ground floor where there is likelihood of flooding, we talk to the customer and request for a place inside the premises where the inverters could be stored.
After delivering all the materials, we take photos of all the materials and inform the installation team as to where all the materials are stored. In case the materials are stored at multiple areas, all such areas must be informed.
It is important get customer’s signature and/or security seal after delivering all the materials on the delivery challan. The customer should be informed that all materials have been delivered without damage and that some of the materials are returnable as they are spares. The customer’s signature is obtained stating that the materials have been inspected and found to be without damage.
Risk is part of running any business, but when it comes to an employee’s safety and health, risk should be avoided at all cost. The same applies to delivery of materials. Proactive safety planning and its successful implementation on the job can help ensure that accidents don’t happen.