Electrical Safety Precautions Inspect equipment periodically. • Make sure it is properly grounded. Replace any frayed or damaged wires and cords
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont. Keep all equipment far away from water • If necessary, tape or secure the cord in place. Many outlets near sinks and other water sources are now GFI (ground fault interrupt). They will automatically shut off if there is a sudden power surge
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont. Remove all metal or conductive jewelry when working with electrical devices • If they make contact with a live wire, you may be included in the circuit
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont. Don’t bury wires under carpeting or cover them with other objects • Don’t cover vents on equipment, or place equipment too close to a wall or in cabinets that could block ventilation
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont. Use spark-free devices near flammable and combustible liquids • Avoid conventional hot plates • Refrigerators and freezers used to store chemicals should have external control switches, so that sparks are kept outside and away from fumes
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont • If a cord feels warm, disconnect it and don’t use it. • Many operating instructions for large appliances warn against using an extension cord, which can overload. Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords, can cause fires.
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont Ever wonder why at gas stations the signs tell you to turn off cell phones while pumping gas? On May 14, 2004 at a Mobile Gas Station in New Paltz, New York, flames shot up around a 21-year-old college student whose cell phone rang while he was pumping gas. Firefighters said Matthew Erhorn received minor burns when the cell phone ignited vapors coming from the car's fuel tank as it was being filled. It doesn't take much of a charge to ignite gasoline vapors, New Paltz fire chief Patrick Koch explained. "Anything, really. Women's nylon stockings when they get out of a vehicle, that can cause a spark, too." It has been advised in the past to ground yourself before handling the gas pump.Electrical Equipments remain the number one cause of fires in offices and laboratories. If you see a frayed wiring do not attempt to fix it yourself but inform your supervisor or the facility coordinator to replace the wiring.
Electrical Fires • Use the “C” fire extinguishers. • Never throw water onto an electrical water, hence never use an “A” extinguisher which is water-based.
Electrical Safety Precautions, cont Let only authorized or competent electricians repair electrical equipments • If you don’t know how to fix something, don’t try it. Some devices store electricity, and you may get a shock
Lockout/Tagout 29 CRF 1910.147 and 1910.333 apply to machines and equipment where there may be an unexpected startup or release of energy stored in various forms. These include fume hoods, hydraulic, x-ray machines, and other equipment connected directly to electrical lines and other energy sources.
Lockout/Tagout • All switches, valves, or other connections must be either locked or tagged in such a way that they cannot be turned on when being serviced or repaired.
Lockout/Tagout Only the authorized repair people can put on or remove the lock or tag. If you turn on the electricity, you could cause serious injury, or death, to the person repairing the equipment
Lockout/Tagout The laws do not apply to “bench top” devices and appliances, such as computers, refrigerators, or instruments, that are connected to an electrical outlet by a plug or cord. Once disconnected, these units no longer are a risk
Electric Shock First Protect Yourself • Don't touch the person. That person might be energized, so take time to protect yourself • Don't try to use a conductive tool to free the person • Don't touch anyone who has become grounded. Call 911 for help, IF the person: • is obviously injured such as loss of consciousness, significant trauma, etc. • has an altered mental status i.e.confusion, slow and/or slurred speech, etc. • has other obvious injury i.s. laceration, burns, etc. • or at the discretion of the shocked victim or supervisor
In conclusion… Electricity is used everywhere in the laboratory. Some are more common ones include balances, fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, light fixtures, telephones, centrifuges, refrigerators, heating mantles, autoclaves, computers, chromatographs.... You can probably name more. With all this apparatus lying around, you must remember to respect electricity.
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