Here’s the long and short of it. Working on “live” electrical equipment in data centers exposes workers to potential death or disabling injury from arc flash, arc blast, or electric shock. In fact, electrical injuries cause “nearly one fatality every day!”1 And OSHA takes this all very seriously. It cited The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Grubb & Ellis Management Services Inc. with serious violations of workplace safety standards for exposing workers to electrical hazards at The Hartford's corporate headquarters and data center in Hartford.
OSHA found that The Hartford's data center policy required electricians employed by its maintenance contractor, Grubb & Ellis, to perform work in live electrical panels for computer equipment without first de-energizing the panels as required under the agency's standards. Grubb & Ellis, for its part, failed to de-energize the electrical panels before having its employees perform installation work and grid upgrades on them.2 Fortunately, no workers were injured. The companies were fined.