April 3, 2017

safety first

What do you do when you see smoke billowing out of an appliance when you switch it on? You kill the power.

What do you do when you smell something burning after switching on your PC? You kill the fucking power.

What do you do when you see sparks out of a power supply when you switch it on? You fucking kill the power.

What do you do when you see a colleague getting electrocuted when he/she is switching on something that uses electricity? Well, unless you fucking hate him/her, you kill the power.

How do you kill the power? If you have to ask that, you ought to be constipated for the rest of your life. You either press the reset button of a circuit breaker, or if it is in safe proximity, you yank out the fucking plug.

But sadly, many people do not seem to know this simple but important safety maneuver. Even those who have an electrical engineering degree.

Case in point would be Hafiz, the new engineer who was tasked to rig a high powered power supply in my lab. The chore was simple, it wasn’t harder than copying his classmate’s homework in engineering class because I gave him a working example to follow/copy exact. But apparently, it wasn’t that simple for Hafiz, for the job was too big for his mental capacity I reckon. For some unfathomable reasons, he hooked the terminals wrong and as a result of that, one of the zener diodes started to spark and repeatedly pop. Smoke was billowing out of that thing and there was a strong burnt smell emanating out of it. Well, what did Hafiz do? One would have expected him to at least react by screaming like a girl and bail the place (if not kill the power).

But no, Hafiz peered into the power supply’s vents like he’s looking for an infectious hemorrhoid. One of the projectiles then flew out and blinded him in the process. He jolted back from the intense pain, tripped over the lab stool, and knocked his head on one of the racks storing heavy testers. One of the testers (weighted about 20kg) then fell on him, crushed his collarbone and jawbone in the process (He now pronounces ‘shit’ as ‘ffffikk’ without a lower jaw). There was blood everywhere dirtying up the lab and we even lost the expensive power supply in the process.

Alright… that was graphic enough. If you can’t tell, I made that all up. Hafiz didn’t get hurt. But he did peer into the vent like an idiot (while the PSU was popping like mad) and warranted a yell from a fellow senior to fucking kill the power already. The only thing that got hurt was probably his self esteem (that’s based on the assumption that he is actually a sentient lifeform, which I suspect not…).

But think of the scenario that I made up. It could have been a real thing. I’ve seen popping components sending projectiles as far as half a feet of from ground zero. Hafiz could have gotten hurt in the process. That’s why people are required to wear safety glasses in the lab/factory. I wonder what possible outcome he had hoped for by peering into an exploding PSU vent hole? Escapes me.

michaelooi  | enlightenments, work shit  | 

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