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Planning to be surprised when you deliver?

15 April 2010 21:50

I'm constantly amazed by how blasé electricians are with regard to live voltage.

I'm used to mixing with software developers, who have a healthy fear and respect for "hardware", or physicists who're a very cautious bunch on the whole.

A week or two ago I developed a leak in my flat's roof, which lead to a small amount of minor water damage and a failure in my lighting.

I've had a couple of people out to look at it, and they all seem quite happy poking around with the (potentially soggy) electrical cables without me disconnecting the ring / main supply.

Still I guess they must know what they're doing; they've not previously been killed ...

ObFilm: Juno



Comments on this entry

icon stuphi at 19:54 on 15 April 2010

I watched an electrician test for live wires by touching them! Made me cringe. He told me that it was OK as long as he used the back of is hand not the front. I understand the logic but don't think that I will try it.

icon RichiH at 12:10 on 16 April 2010

I am not in the trade myself, but I know several electricicans, one electrical engineer and one high-voltage technican.

The general consensus seems to be that unless you go above 10.000 Volts, no one really cares. They will try not to get into situations where the current would flow through both arms (as the heart is somewhat in between, especially with the large artery that goes to the left arm) and that's about it.

icon Simon Waters at 23:09 on 16 April 2010

"Still I guess they must know what they're doing; they've not previously been killed ..."

Isn't that a form of selection bias. The ones who electrocute themselves never answer your pleas for help.

But proper statistics bear this out as well.


The secret it seems is to make sure you don't fall off anything.


icon Casper at 19:46 on 18 April 2010

The same happens to a lot of software developers and software security.