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How electrical engineers inspect and repair equipment

How electrical engineers inspect and repair equipment

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There are over six hundred thousand certified electricians in America. That number is expected to rise by as much as one hundred thousand in the next four years, reflecting the vital nature of the work they perform for us every day.
And that work is far from safe. Although proper training and diligence can minimise the risk of injury and death to an acceptable degree, the fact remains that thousands of fatalities occur in the country each year from power frequency shock alone, according to the New Jersey-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
With this in mind, we’re covering today a brief explanation and guide concerning the importance of safety in electrical testing – and why it’s best left to the professionals.
How do these kinds of accidents happen?
While it’s true that electrical accidents often happen because of faulty equipment brought about by poor maintenance, it’s actually the case that most incidents occur because of poor assumptions. Injury is most likely when a person works with or near equipment they believed to be inactive or ‘dead’ – or equipment they were not certified in properly, leading to injury due to lack of knowledge.
Because of this, professionals able to safely perform fixed wire electrical tests make the difference. The ability to diagnose and perceive dangers where others would see none is what keeps workplaces and the adults who use them safe each year.
Whatever the system or equipment being used, safety begins with it being chosen, installed and maintained by an experienced professional. This is particularly true for live electrical systems and when you are refurbishing your property or working area.
What engineers consider on the job.
Let’s look now at a set of examples of what a certified electrical engineer will consider when they perform their work. This can give you a good idea of the depth and breadth of knowledge required for a job like this – it’s considerable, to say the least!
Back to basics: There’s no beating the safety that comes with knowledge. Electrical systems come in a dizzying variety of shapes and purposes – and they all have extensive manuals detailing their workings and safety considerations. An engineer’s job is as much about ‘hitting the books’ as it is being called on jobs! If they’re looking at machinery and equipment they aren’t familiar with, it’s the responsible and appropriate thing to review manuals and see how to proceed safely.
Isolating when possible: What many don’t realise is that many electrical systems can actually work partially, with some of their circuits and equipment isolated from power and other equipment. An engineer can use this to safely test systems, helping to keep them safe and to isolate individual faults by incrementally testing isolated parts.
Visual inspection & RCDs: Many accidents happen because of faulty equipment and ‘residual current’, where lingering electricity can pose a threat despite a system or circuit not being connected.
Engineers avoid this danger in a number of ways, such as by reviewing the inspection records of equipment and by using residual current devices, which analyses a system and cuts faulty and dangerous parts of it off to avoid accidents.
Food for thought.
We hope this glimpse into the ways of working of electrical engineers was interesting and informative. There’s a lot to the subject and we’re grateful to the men and women in every state across the country for the work they do to keep us safe.


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