Staff Member Receives Minor Shock While Working with Electrical Equipment Assumed to Be Low Voltage
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland WA), Richland, WA (PNNL)

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Electrical, Engineering, Operations

A PNNL Field Technician supporting a project to install sensors at a non-PNNL facility in April 2016 experienced a mild shock while working with signal wires he assumed were part of a low voltage system (below 50V). He did not report the shock at the time because he believed it insignificant. A contractor electrician later discovered the system was carrying 120V. When the Field Technician returned to PNNL and discussed his work on the project with his Technical Team Lead (TTL), the TTL determined the shock should be reported to PNNL's Single Point of Contact. Lessons Learned: When designing systems with electrical interfaces, clearly specify the voltage limitations and requirements for all sources of hazardous energy in design plans. Before beginning work on energized equipment, verify a system is low voltage (less than 50V) or de-energize the equipment to remove risk of shock. Promptly report any shock so a required medical evaluation may be performed.

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