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Electrical Hazards and Precautions

The use of any item of electrical equipment contains a risk element due to the potentially dangerous threat of electric shock. Computer systems and associated hardware, such as printers, scanners, network hubs and other devices, are commonly mains powered and as such are a potential hazard. The risk of electric shock applies to normal users of the equipment and also to those undertaking repairs or upgrades. For example, a fault could occur where the case of a PC becomes live and this could pose a risk of electrical shock to a user who inadvertently touches the case. Similarly when repairing a PC the technician could be at risk if they do not take the appropriate safety measures such as isolating the PC by disconnecting it from the mains supply.

In addition to the user observing good practice and minimising the risk of electric shock, there are other measures which can be taken to reduce the risk of injury to the operator.

In addition to minimising the personal risk we are also concerned with reducing the risk of fire and damage to other equipment. An electrical fault can generate large amounts of heat, which could pose a fire risk. An electrical fault in one piece of equipment could also damage other equipment and cables, etc.

Next: Safety Devices