Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

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Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Mick » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:32 pm

Hi Folks....
We're about to employ (?) a PhD student for 3 or 4 years to invent a fancy piece of electronic kit for us. We currently in the process of converting an office into the electronics lab. It's nothing too flash just an electronics work bench and desk.
I'm just starting to put together the risk assessment, but not having done much with this new fangled electrickery I thought I'd ask you lovely people to help fill in any gaps before I go though this with the student and look like an idiot!!!
Some of the hazards I've got so far are...

- Electric shock from incomplete circuitry or damaged equipment
- heat from soldering iron - burns, fire, damage to components / cables / equipment
- solder fumes
- cuts, etc from knives and other tools
- puncture injuries from component legs / pins
- chemical hazards from adhesives and / or cleaning solvents, etc

Anything else I've forgotten???

Cheers
mick
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Ian Rienewerf » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:01 pm

It looks good - apart from the puncture injuries from components.
That shouldn't be a problem - you can leave it in, but the risk will be Zero.

Apart from abuse and harrassment, the only other issue is manual handling.

All in all it will be a low risk area.
With the work tasks changing day-by-day for this type of prototype work.
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Ian Rienewerf » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:02 pm

PS - I was joking about the abuse & harrassment.
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Mick » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:22 pm

Thanks for that... nice to know i'm pointing in the right direction...

Ian Rienewerf wrote:PS - I was joking about the abuse & harrassment.

HA HA... She'll be in an office next to the R&D Chemists so there'll be plenty of geek love going on!!

PS..I cant type the work g e e k without it turning into geek then :P
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Alexis » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:24 pm

ESD (Electro Static Discharge) could be a problem, so rubber mats to stand on and maybe a wrist ESD connection.

Remember DSE too. Seats need to be correct as with posture etc.
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby bernicarey » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:21 pm

Alexis wrote:ESD (Electro Static Discharge) could be a problem, so rubber mats to stand on and maybe a wrist ESD connection.

Remember DSE too. Seats need to be correct as with posture etc.


Good points Alexis, though the provision of an EPA (Electrostatic Protection Area) is just a little more than mats and wrist bands ;) . I've worked with EPAs before and a fixed installation, rather than a field service kit, can be quite a big deal.

There is a whole BS for it... BS EN 61340-5-1:2007

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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby kevlarion » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:43 pm

Think about the provision of lighting and a magnifying desk lamp, fine work like this needs a lot of light to prevent eye strain.
A lot of electronics design is now computer based, but at some point there will be PCBs to be etched using either a photochemical process, or the old fashioned ink and ferric chloride method, either way there are fumes and irritants involved. gloves and safety glasses (or goggles) You may need a sink to clean the chemicals off the boards to avoid carting around buckets of water.
You'll probably have some propan2ol to use as a degreaser, it can be set alight by the heat from a soldering iron so you'll need a box to keep it in, nitril gloves if much use is going to be made of it (and for the etching chemicals too), and a dispenser to prevent it being spilled. A fire blanket, or chemical foam extinguisher to put out a fire The SDS will tell you the best type.
You'll probably want to put RCDs in the mains supply if you don't already have them.
Trailing cables and offcuts of wire on the floor for slip trip hazards, although if you put down an ESD mat, it would take care of offcuts too (since they would embed into the mat)
A suitable seat, back support, adjustable height etc at the bench and a suitable seat for using at the computer.
If it isn't broken, that doesn't mean you can't improve it. (Do three negatives make a positive ?)
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Re: Electronics Lab Risk Assessment

Postby Alexis » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:30 pm

bernicarey wrote:
Alexis wrote:ESD (Electro Static Discharge) could be a problem, so rubber mats to stand on and maybe a wrist ESD connection.

Remember DSE too. Seats need to be correct as with posture etc.


Good points Alexis, though the provision of an EPA (Electrostatic Protection Area) is just a little more than mats and wrist bands ;) . I've worked with EPAs before and a fixed installation, rather than a field service kit, can be quite a big deal.

There is a whole BS for it... BS EN 61340-5-1:2007

Berni


Yes Berni. I only put the minimum in as an example of what to research. I too worked in semiconductor plant for some time and as you say, fixed installations need serious in-depth requirements. However, being a one-bench type lab (if a lab at all), should be a lot easier.

Just another thought.....I would imagine you have already contacted your insurance company to inform them of the changes Mick. Also the new Student's fire training and evacuation requirements may be different from the norm, so may require adjustments and if so, these adjustments placed in the company procedure files. Maybe even others working in close proximity too.
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