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When life depends on it, make sure the machine really is "off"

  • March 2014
  • Number of views: 574
  • Article rating: No rating

Lenwood Ireland
Ireland Electric Co.

Is it off? This is a common question that many technicians pose concerning the electrical status of a machine before commencing work. Usually the question is asked to a co-worker or other responsible individual engaged in the work at hand. Upon hearing the answer “yes,” the technician will begin to loosen electrical connections, remove wire nuts, cut wires and or perform a host of other tasks that he or she would not have engaged in had the machine still been on.

Here are some questions to consider:  Is “off” the movement of a breaker actuator from the “on” to the “off” position? Is it just the indication of the disconnect handle that has been pulled to its most downward position? Is “off” the selection of a rotated to position on a pilot device or the pressing of a pushbutton labeled the same? Or by whatever physical, electronic or other latent manner, has the action to achieve “off” really accomplished “off”?

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