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General Chat Thread, Our new school build puts the techies' office in the server room in General; Received confirmation last night that our new school build has the techies' office in the server room. Apart from the ...
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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Our new school build puts the techies' office in the server room

    Received confirmation last night that our new school build has the techies' office in the server room. Apart from the fact that this only runs to two desks between four techies, what are the Health and Safety implications of this?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Noise being the largest factor and also temperature. Ive been there and the background noise is.not nice

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We have this exact issue currently. Network Managers office (which I tend to use as base too) houses half the servers and 6 switches which is a real noisy system. Unfortunately (well, sort of) it's just short of the health & safety limits

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    We have this exact issue currently. Network Managers office (which I tend to use as base too) houses half the servers and 6 switches which is a real noisy system. Unfortunately (well, sort of) it's just short of the health & safety limits
    By louder servers Sun fires and supermicro chassis tend to be loundest!!

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    We have this exact issue currently. Network Managers office (which I tend to use as base too) houses half the servers and 6 switches which is a real noisy system. Unfortunately (well, sort of) it's just short of the health & safety limits
    I feared as much as it won't be the first time the construction company has encountered this.

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    Had the same issue just over four years ago when we moved into our new school. Absolutely no provision for Technical staff, rooms way too small and under spec'd in terms of space for racks and people. Effectively had two rooms, one for servers and patching and switch stacks and one room for technicians. In techies room there was enough room for two people at a push (we have four). No room for testing lab etc. Make sure you shout loud for a proper room otherwise you will be left to fend for yourself. We spent months living out of the staff room, a makeshift classroom offsite and now have a small (ish) office for me and IT Leader.

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    DSapseid's Avatar
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    My Office is just off the server with an interconnecting door but i also have a door straight out. I used to have a naff folding door from homebase for £20 but in the summer i insisted on a proper door being put in, much better now. When i expanded my server room i had to 'acquire' the d&t store cupboard (was full of junk!!) might be worth looking at the designs to see if there is any way that an adjoining room can be acquired then a dividing wall put in.

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    At my previous school, all of the servers sat in my office (15 all up - some were rack mounted HPs, others just PCs). The noise always seemed terrible if you thought about it, but to be honest, it was like a clock - you didn't notice it after awhile. I had it measured once, when one of my techies asked about hearing damage, and it came out at 84dB at the techies end of the room. This is a the equivalent of standing on the side of a busy road. The permissible expose time at that level is 8 hours, so all was fine decibel exposure time guidelines

    We also had the school bell in our office, which was worse! They reckon they couldn't relocate it. We used to keep stuffing paper up it to reduce it to a tick, tick sound. It was also the fire bell. Every year the fire inspectors would moan and pull the paper out. As soon as they left the office, we would put it back in. It wasn't a safety issue; there was always somebody in the office who could raise the alarm if necessary and they was another fire bell in the building. We also had a real fire in the school (not in our bit) and the alarms in our building didn't go off.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Received confirmation last night that our new school build has the techies' office in the server room.
    In my experience, if you turn up one day with lumber, power tools and a confident air everyone assumes you know what you're doing / have permission and leaves you to to get on with things, so you could simply build a partition wall to keep the noise of the servers down.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    H&S noise limits tend to be for occasional exposure, not constant noise. I know there's at least one EduGeeker here who has developed tinnitus form the constant noise of a server cabinet, despite it being under those "official limits". And in case anyone wasn't aware, tinnitus is largely untreatable.

    Approach SMT and explain to them this is a real risk, and gently point out that you aren't willing to risk acquiring a permanent disability from your workplace. A potential claim for hearing damage in a few years time will be much more expensive for them than providing you with a proper working environment.

    If they still won't listen to reason, contact your union.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    With the expected noise levels and more worryingly the lack of desk space I would strongly urge you to invite the local H&S people to look over the plans and provide a report to the SMT.

    Would the SMT expect the school admin staff to work in a noisy environment and share a desk?

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    You need to make your feelings known that it isn't enough space for you all to do your jobs. Leaving the noise issue aside, would they plan any other office in the school to have less desks than people? It's not good enough and if you don't fight hard to change it now you'll be stuck with it

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    I already suffer with tinnitus and have been "measured" for a hearing aid, but am a little too vain to get one

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    Our office is in the server room ohh the joys ive had staff come in and instantly say its nosie in hear how do you put up with it. and they all coment on how chilly it is in summer (one of the only room's on school with aircon) but with 12 desktop servers and a wall full of swiches. it can be loud and its freeky when everything goes down for end of tearm its realy quiet you can hear a pin drop.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Can you all speak up please I can't hear you over this noise!!!!!

    Ben



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