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Safety Considerations

Working with electricity is inherently dangerous. If the plumber makes a mistake, he can mop up the floor; if the A/C installer does something wrong, he just won’t get the desired “conditioned” air; however when an Electrician of Electrical Engineer make a mistake surely there will be damage to equipment, maybe a fire and in more occasions than desired, someone might get hurt by an Arc Flash or dies by electrocution. This is no joke or to be taken lightly!.

The information given in this site is intended as basic reference information for professionals with little or no knowledge of electrical installations (e.g., Household Owners, Building Owners or Administrators, Plant Engineers or other Engineers which are compelled to be more informed of the subject of Energy Savings Engineering, We are Professional Engineers who make our living in this industry and we know what we are doing.

One of my main concerns arises from observing many Do It Yourself (DIY) videos and E-books throughout the Internet which supposedly instruct the viewer or reader on how to perform some of the activities or installations described herein. Although I can not claim to have seen or read them in their entirety, 100% of what I have seen or viewed do not indicate the proper safety precautions that are mandated for such work, the special tools or the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by code for the same. Observing these videos make me as professional in this industry shiver with worry and concern for those who observe the same with the intention of performing any type of electrical work by themselves.

If you do not know exactly what you are doing, PLEASE! don’t even attempt to perform any type of electrical work, leave this to the licensed professionals who perform them for a living. If you decide to perform any type of work and/or electrical installations of any equipment, you perform them at your own risk, This engineer makes it clear the dangers and precautions that need to be taken. The articles included in this web site are for information purposes only. By being informed you will be a better professional and thus you will be a better client. But leave the actual work to us or other qualified professionals.

I have “survived” 40 years in this business by taking electrical work seriously, following all possible safety precaution and more. I have taken the time to be trained in CPR, Certified First Aid Safety Person, received many OSHA Safety Training Certifications and many more. I can assure that because I have had this safety oriented attitude, I have never had a serious incident or a serious accident, much less a fatality in my entire career and I intend to keep it this way.

Never, ever, work on any equipment that is energized, only highly skilled professionals do it and only after determining that there is absolutely no other alternative (this is a code requirement). Always use a voltmeter which you personally have tested and you are familiar with its operating instructions. Assure that it works properly before commencing any electrical work. Verify with the voltmeter that everything within the space you intend to work in is “dead” (i.e., not energized). You should be thoroughly familiar and comply with all applicable safety codes that apply to your work activity and must possess the required professional credentials which indicate your qualifications for performing such installations These are some of the mayor safety precautions, there are many more!

Be aware that, under certain conditions, a disconnected circuit may still be energized or have a dangerously high level of energy stored in it, for example; Capacitors, Shielded Cables, incorrectly installed Portable Generator, almost all parts and components of Renewable Energy Systems, (remember that is what they are supposed to do, create energy from the sun, the wind or any other available source).

Become familiar with the proper handling of Batteries, the stored energy inside of them can quickly become explosive. They contain corrosive acids that can easily burn and blind you (see more information in the Energy Storage Section). The same applies to any other means of Energy Storage. Know what you are doing and the risks involved. This is not rocket science but common sense. There are plenty of safety information, guidelines, standard operating procedures, Safety Codes etc. that instruct the qualified professional on how they work and the safety precautions to be taken in dealing with them. Knowledge is power. If you do not know how to do something related to these installations, please ask somebody who knows. There are no such things as stupid questions yet I have known about many “intelligent” mistakes. Be always on the safe side!

Safety, in this business is the primordial tool, disregard it and it will hurt you fast. Understand how it works, use the indicated and mandated Safety Equipment, Tools, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), perform the required “Lock Out Tag Out” (“LOTO”) procedures and make aware to those around you and those which could be affected by what you are doing.

I cannot overemphasize this subject enough; Remember: SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST!

Eliseo Morales, P.E., emg@energysavingsengineering.com

Home
About Us
Solar Photovoltaic Systems
What you need to know about Solar PV Energy in Puerto Rico!
Wind Energy
Net Metering Systems
Energy Savings Solutions
Other Tax Credits & Incentives
Safety Considerations
Glossary
Copyright Notice
Contact Us