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Monday, May 18, 2020

Checklist for Building Maintenance Units (BMU)

Risks Associated with Building Maintenance Units (BMU)

Working on Building Maintenance Units (BMU) is always risky and dangerous and the workforce could be at great risk during extreme weather conditions (heavy and strong winds). 

Possibility of Critical Incident

Due to the heavy and strong wind Building Maintenance Units (BMU) become unstable while its operation on a high rise building. The stormy winds caused the BMU to sweeping away from the high rise building’s facade.  And when that BMU wiggle back into the building, severe and critical deterioration occur for both workforce and the building due to its suspension ropes to become trapped.

Factors Involved in the Incident

The following factors could have involved in the incident, including:
1. Heavy and Strong winds around the high rise buildings.
2. Not recording and keeping into consideration the maximum wind speed limit for allowing operating the BMU. This could be the failure of the proper supervision and practice of bad safety culture by the organisation

The safety risks

If the Building Maintenance Units (BMU) platform rotates frantically in the heavy wind, it could smack the high rise building and its suspension ropes could become tangled.
As a result of the suspension ropes and entanglement of the Building Maintenance Units (BMU) platform and the high rise building facade can continue destruction and the facade materials, such as glass or other objects kept on the platform, can fall from height. Workforce on the Building Maintenance Units (BMU) or the general public and or visitors in the area beneath may be seriously injured or even could lead to any casualty.

Control Measures

Use the right BMU

  • Always Utilize the proper Building Maintenance Units (BMU) for a high rise building (e.g, a BMU with a platform that doesn’t extend the building)

Monitor wind speeds

  • The workforce should be licenses and competent. 
  • Implementation and provision of a safe system of work (SSOW) is the right of the employees, a proper wind speed and weather monitoring and forecasting mechanism and or system should be present. Authentic supervision must give workers using BMU information about its operational wind speed limits and any other weather constraints.

BMU Restraint Systems

  • If a Building Maintenance Units (BMU) uses a Building Facade Restraint System (BFRS), ensure it provides the highest level of platform strength.
  • If the Building Maintenance Units (BMU) doesn’t utilize a building facade restraint system, a mechanical facade self-restraint system (such as wire ropes, lanyards, plug and socket systems) is preferable to the suction system.
  • Ensure the Building Maintenance Units (BMU) and its affiliate equipment are observed and maintained to ensure it is safe to use for building maintenance tasks.

Training and Document Risks

To minimize the level of risks, proper training of the Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) must be provided to the workers using BMUs with complete information, instruction, and ensure that only suitably competent workforce work on, and operate, the BMU. Such kind of information includes operating, inspecting, observation and maintaining the Building Maintenance Unit (BMU), which may be found in the BMU’s manuals.
Always use safe work method statements. This information should cover specific hazards and risks, such as weather conditions, on the day work is taking place.

Legal duties of the Management

It is the legal and moral duty and responsibility of the management of all level in control of risks while working on BMU, and must eliminate the risk of the BMU becoming unstable, including in strong windy conditions, If the risk cannot be eliminated, it must be reduced at ASAP level.
The on-duty supervision and the observers must also provide appropriate information, instruction, training to workforce and or employees to do their work safely. Besides, duty holders must keep a record of any inspection, maintenance and observation carried out on a Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) for the time they & control the Unit.

Checklist for Building Maintenance Units (BMU)

Checklist for Building Maintenance Units (BMU)



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