Fan Cell Safety Procedures

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    • #2157
      gcvetnich
      Participant

      We operate a 30-cell GEA ACC in the southwestern United States. Our fan screens are not designed to act as proper walking and working surfaces, and I assume most are not. We take care to use fall-protection for blade and hub maintenance, but it was recently pointed out to us that we should also treat the fan cell area as a confined space, due to its limited means of access.
      I’m curious as to whether other facilities are treating their fan cells as confined spaces and how you manage safety for fan blade and hub maintenance.

    • #2158
      fbadia
      Participant

      Here’s my .02¢…

      First, our cells are clearly labeled right by the motor/gearbox.

      We do a LOTO, and that gets verified by a second set of eyes. Then the tech walks down the LOTO and verifies that the fan won’t start by having the control room operator do a ‘bump test’. Then when we go up to the cell, we trip the vibration switch and have the control room operator confirm that he got the vibration alarm for that fan; then we tie the blades off.

      We also use fall protection when working in the fan cells, but we don’t treat them as confined spaces; We lay plywood on the screens to distribute our weight.

      Good luck, stay safe.

    • #2159
      Super Dave
      Participant

      As fbadia has posted we do the same, or near the same things as they are doing. We do not tie off though as the only good place to tie off to is above the fan level which could become an issue should the fan assembly rotate. One other thing we do is utlize small diameter rope to tie off the blades to keep them from windmilling or otherwise turning while in the fan area.

      We use two foot by four foot plywood pieces for accessing our gearbox/fan area. They have been painted bright safety yellow and have hand holds built in.

    • #2160
      Super Dave
      Participant

      As fbadia has posted we do the same, or near the same things as they are doing. We do not tie off though as the only good place to tie off to is above the fan level which could become an issue should the fan assembly rotate. One other thing we do is utilize small diameter rope to tie off the blades to keep them from windmilling or otherwise turning while in the fan area.

      We use two foot by four foot plywood pieces for accessing our gearbox/fan area. They have been painted bright safety yellow and have hand holds built in.

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