My marketing manager has an extensive background in occupational safety & health, he was on course to work for OSHA but during college he decided to migrate more into website design and then marketing, something myself and his other clients are very happy about. He sometimes reflects on his passion for safety, compliance and even the first aid/health aspects he learned during the 7+ years he was involved in safety & health. Here are a few of the more simple things that traditionally get overlooked when working on a computer that could cause an injury. Remember, unless you are professionally trained or are being supervised, it’s best to not open the computer panel; you may get shocked and/or cause more damage than good.
Power Off: Kevin said that more people get shocked & injured because they forget or refuse to unplug the machine. This applies to all machinery not just computers.
Smoke & Smell: If you are adding hardware to your computer and smell something odd, stop what you are doing. If you see smoke, stop immediately and back away. It may seem silly, but electricity is very dangerous and if you have the cover off a PC, then you are entering into a danger zone. Be careful!
Rings: Be certain to remove all rings from your fingers and jewelry like a bracelet before you open the computer. Watches, rings & bracelets can conduct electricity and make the shock/burn much worse. When working on anything involving the power supply, remove all jewelry.
Capacitors: A capacitor has the capability to store energy, even after the power source has been removed. Understanding that the danger is not completely over is important, discharge the capacitor to avoid an unwanted shock.
Unserviceable: Some things are better left alone. Many older computers are not worth the time to try and fix them. Older operating systems, hard drives and other hardware is outdated and is beyond repair, there is no good reason to potentially get a shock from a machine that is better off recycled.
Safety is important, so instead of risking injury, call me for an analysis of your computer. I typically fix them faster and at a lower cost than most people think.
John McCann & Associates