11. HEALTH AND SAFETY
The health and safety section of Volume I concentrated mainly
on tool-related safety. With this volume the risks are more complex,
and the variety of systems described makes it difficult to pinpoint
particular risks. In general...
- Beware of all electrical systems. Before cutting a wire be
sure you know what you are cutting. For safety's sake always wear
plastic or rubber gloves and use insulated cutters.
- Do not cut fuel pipes unless absolutely necessary.
- With pneumatic systems, beware incase there is still pressure
in the system. If in doubt use a bradawl or small drill to make
a hole and release any pressurise before cutting.
- Beware when cutting hydraulic systems that the pipe is not
under pressure - as noted above drill first if in doubt. Also,
beware that the cutting of a pipe does not release the pressure
that is holding the machine - the machine could move or jibs could
drip on you.
- Do not wear baggy clothes or allow you hair to wave about
- they may get caught in machinery and cause you injury, or trap
- Do not cut any 'safety' systems such as brakes, fire alarms,
- Never climb any structure or equipment where you may fall,
or become trapped.
- IF IN DOUBT ABOUT THE EFFECT OF ANY ACTION - DON'T DO IT!!
In relation to the previous section on combustion, there are very
specific safety rules...
- Never connect the battery to an electrically fused system
unless you have first checked that the switches are not active.
The other main precaution must be to ensure that your activities
do not in themselves cause environmental pollution. Opening the
pipes on a large fuel storage tank could cause massive pollution.
Likewise setting fire to a farmer's barn full of pesticides could
create a major catastrophe.
As well as the common sense things like not releasing fuel, always
remember that you actions could cause problems later. If you cut
power cables, and short the wires because your cutters were not
sharp, when the systems is turned on you could cause a short that
might start a fire. For safety's sake, it is a good idea to develop
some sort of calling card to tell people you were there, or at
least use a marker pen to leave a warning to the owners/operators.
As noted previously, the most important thing to take with
you is your common sense