April 2022

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Highlights the Importance of Maintaining a UPS System Correctly


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Here at Specialist Power Systems, we understand the importance of correct UPS maintenance through one of our extensive service and maintenance contracts that we offer. A recent communication bulletin from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has highlighted the importance of maintaining a UPS system correctly and how some OEM operating instructions are not enough to ensure the safety of a UPS.

Recent investigations by the HSE into several dangerous occurrences that resulted from a failure of industrial UPS systems at major hazard establishments have found the information for maintenance included in the OEM’s operating and maintenance instructions did not provide adequate information to allow the continued safe and reliable operation of the industrial UPS systems prior to the incident.

Loss of Power Can be Catastrophic

The failure of these industrial UPS systems typically resulted in a loss of power to industrial control systems, emergency shutdown systems and emergency mitigation systems. Some of these incidents have led to localised fires within industrial UPS systems due to failures of either capacitors or batteries with smoke, excessive heat resulting in failure of the static switch and a failure to provide emergency power via a second UPS. Other incidents due to component failures and outdated firmware have led to unplanned shutdown of a chemical processing plant which subsequently on start-up led to an unplanned release of toxic substances into the environment, and additional demand placed upon other safety related systems.

In the article they go further and stress how important it is to follow manufacturers guidance concerning the replacement of all relevant components that are time limited to less than the design life of the industrial UPS system (batteries, filter capacitors, cooling fans, internal RAM batteries, power cards and control cards).

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Over 20 Years Experience Delivering Servicing Excellence

With over 20 years’ experience in the critical power industry and a team of highly skilled and manufacturer trained engineers, we pride ourselves that all maintenance work carried out by Specialist Powers Systems has always followed any relevant guidance from the manufacturer and where guidance was not available recommendations for replacement of components with a design life have been based on our long experience as a UPS supplier and maintainer.

Work carried out by Specialist Power Systems that has identified components requiring or recommended for replacement as far as practicable was followed up by relevant quotes and guidance to the customer to carry out and complete the replacement.

We Always Highlight the Importance of Regular UPS Maintenance

Whilst we continue to follow all relevant manufacturer guidance, we always stress the importance of carrying out the maintenance and repairs of our customers old and new UPS systems in a prompt and timely manner.

We would also advise customers where the UPS is supporting systems whose failure could result in a serious risk to health and safety that they should review the current installation and design of the UPS system to ensure that it provides a robust, maintainable, and practicable solution.

Take a look at our different UPS maintenance packages we offer or contact us today to find out how we can help make sure your UPS is looked after the way it should.

You can also get more information on the importance of maintaining a UPS system correctly by reading the full article published by HSE.

Richard Yeeles 

Managing Director

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