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From: Winfield Hill
Subject: Re: Scary, high voltage power supplies. (7Kv, 50A, 50ns, 20Khz)
Date: 10 Nov 2002 17:40:35 -0800
Organization: Rowland Institute
X-Newsreader: Direct Read News 4.10
> I never thought of all of the accidents you talk about here.
> In 40 years of experience some 10 years of which involved high
> voltage, I never saw or heard of an accident involving equipment
> I worked on. The only death I know of at a site where I worked
> was a fellow who died while servicing a 600kV DC power supply.
> He died of sulfur hexafluoride inhalation. ...
I've been lucky despite many shocks, some high currents through
the chest (these became frightening experiences for me, after
post-accident analysis). But one simply cannot assume survival
will always be the case. My house-mate's fellow graduate-student
died from a shock from his laser's power supply. Several other
friends of mine have reported the deaths of fellow workers or of
acquaintances. Many s.e.d. repondents have told similar stories.
We would ignore them at our peril.
Last summer we had a neigborhood power failure, and the power
company had to come and check our neigborhood's transformers.
When they got to ours I watched. First the thick elbow-length
rubber gloves. Then the three-foot-long tongs. Only then was
the ground-level transformer door opened. You get the picture.
No setting the HV power supply up on its side on the bench,
sticking probes into its guts with bare hands after power up.
"One hand behind the back" as a safety rule can have its limits,
for example when the power supply is bumped and begins to fall
towards you and your spare hand reflexively comes out to steady
its fall. Scary stuff.
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