Following the installation an autoclave it became apparent that access to the services – steam, chilled water and electricity – was extremely difficult for the Operational Services engineering team members who are required to maintain it. Access to the electrical control panel was severely restricted by the surrounding stainless steel fascia while the mechanical services could only be reached through a small access panel.
An Ergonomic Risk Assessment showed that while there were no real lifting issues, the tasks undertaken by the engineering team could lead to significant back, neck, and shoulder and leg discomfort due to the postures that were necessary to adopt by those completing the work.
As a result of the assessment it was recommended that the access panels were redesigned to provide greater accessibility and therefore reduce the risks associated with working in a restricted area. New lifting handles and retaining clips were also fitted to help remove and refit the panels.