Staying cognizant of potential electrical hazards
Take a look around. How many objects do you see that are powered by electricity? Five? Eleven? Twenty-six?
Electricity is everywhere. Human society began to tame electricity in the mid-18th century, and today most of our lives are affected by it on a regular basis. We have come a long way since Ben Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm and Thomas Edison lit up the night with a lightbulb, and we are still learning new information about this scientific breakthrough all the time.
At home and at work, we are surrounded by advances in technology that are powered by electricity. With all of these gadgets and equipment, it is easy to forget that electricity can be dangerous. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, approximately 1,000 deaths from electrical injuries and at least 30,000 shock incidents occur each year. At home, such incidents usually involve small appliances, extension cords and wall outlets. At work, they are typically caused by industrial equipment or electrical service infrastructure. This is what we do, every day, at every range—we keep the radars running, the data flowing, the control rooms alive and the networks humming.
It takes many talented and trained people to keep all of the range equipment operating. A key aspect of employee training is electrical safety. Whether you are working with low-voltage data systems or high-powered radars, recognizing the hazards and controlling the energy is critical to protecting you and the electrical circuits you maintain. When it comes to operations and maintenance, removing the electrical energy source should always be the first step. No electricity = No electrical hazards!
Whether on the clock or off, it is essential to remember that electricity can be dangerous and deadly. Those of you with jobs that require you to work with or inside electrical equipment must be especially vigilant. Don’t be shocked! Follow your training and company policy and procedures put in place for your safety, and always assume a circuit is hot until you verify that it’s not!