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Electrical Safety

In laboratory areas; there are several  electric-driven devices ranging from hot plates to lasers. Most of these devices are essential elements of many laboratories. Mishandling or lack of maintenance these devices give rise to insecure working condition or hazards to health of laboratory users.

In addition to this, many equipment work under different voltage, current or other characteristics. Electric energy storing elements like capacitors could pose lethal shock, even if they are disconnected.

Electrical Systems

Laboratories have relatively basic electrical requirement. The entire system must meet Turkish Standard and must be properly examined before being put into service. As far as the laboratory user is concerned, the details of the service to the building are relatively unimportant, but relevant circuits must have capability to provide enough outlets for all of the equipment in the laboratory.

Laboratory activities should not be assigned to spaces provided with standard electrical service until laboratory or industrial type electrical infrastructure is maintained.

All circuits, whether original equipment or added later, should consist of three wires: a hot or black wire, a neutral or white wire, and a ground or green wire. The ground connection should be a high-quality, low impedance ground (on the order of a few ohms), and all grounds on all outlets should be of comparable quality. Low-quality ground can result in a significant difference of potential between the grounds of two outlet receptacles. A further problem which can result from a poor ground is that leakage current through the high-impedance ground connection can develop a significant amount of localized resistance heating. This often can cause an electrical fire, rather than a short circuit or an overloaded circuit.

All connectors, switches, and wiring in a circuit must meet the expectations for the maximum voltage and current to be carried

The female sockets must be protected with ground-fault interrupters as an additional measure of protection. In case the current is diverted through an electrical short or a person, they will break the circuit in a very few milliseconds, so as not to harm anyone.

The number of outlets should be above the number of equipment in a laboratory and also these outlets must be well distributed. Multiple outlet adapters or extension cords must not to be used. Even if they are used; they should not be placed under stress, and should be protected against pinching, cutting, or being walked upon. Where abuse may occur, they must be protected with a physical shield sufficient to protect them from reasonably anticipated sources of damage.

Circuits must be shielded by circuit breakers for the maximum current to be carried by the circuit. Normally, many breakers for a room or group of rooms are located together on a common breaker panel. All circuits should be described clearly, both within the facility and at the breaker panel, so that when required, the power supply to a given circuit may quickly and easily be cut off. This is especially important when it is necessary to disconnect power in an emergency. There should be no ambiguity about the breaker that needs to be thrown to kill the power to a given device laboratories with high voltage and/or high current sources should consider a readily accessible master disconnect button, which anyone can use to kill all of the circuits in the facility if someone becomes connected to an active circuit.

The location of electrical circuits and electrically operated equipment in a room should be such that they are unlikely to become wet and they should not be in an area susceptible to condensation or where a user might be in contact with moisture.

As unlikely as it may appear, instances have been observed where equipment has been located and electrical circuits have been installed where water from deluge showers would inundate them. For some equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, and air conditioning units, moisture is likely to be present due to condensation, and these items of equipment must be well grounded.

High Voltage and Current

Repairs of high voltage or high current equipment should be performed only by trained electricians.

Laboratory users who are experienced in such tasks and would like to perform such work on their own laboratory equipment must first receive specialized electrical safety related work practices training by LS/LSS.

Altering Building Wiring and Utilities

Any modifications to existing electrical service in a laboratory or building must be completed or approved by Operation and Technical Services. All modifications must meet SU safety standards.

Any unapproved laboratory facilities modifications discovered during laboratory surveys or other activities are reviewed by LSS to determine whether they meet design specifications.