Electronics Safety

The processes or equipment used in electronics can cause harm or injury if used incorrectly.

It is really important that you always work safely when building and testing electronic circuits.

General safety rules

Before starting any work carry out a risk assessment to identify all the potential hazards:

Soldering

  1. Make sure that other people are aware you are using a hot soldering iron
  2. Use a stand when the iron is not in use to prevent it from accidentally melting cables.

Using chemicals

  1. Chemicals such as ferric chloride used for photo-etching printed circuit boards are corrosive. Always wear protective clothing and goggles.
  2. Wash off spillages from the skin with water
  3. Clean any spillages from surrounding benches.
  4. Do not pour etching chemicals down the sink.

Soldering

  • The tip of a soldering iron is very hot, approximately 350°C , the metal barrel will also be very hot.
  • Touching any part of these can cause severe burns
  • Never touch a tip to check if the iron is switched on!
  • Always place the soldering iron in a suitable stand when not being used
  • Never rest the iron on the desk, the tip can burn wood, cloth etc.
  • Always solder on a heat proof mat or soldering platform
  • If the iron falls, do not try to catch it, you may end up holding the hot barrel/tip
  • Solder in a well ventilated area, with an extraction system if possible, do not breath in the fumes as they may contain Rosin.

Hand tool safety

  • Cutters, drills and wire strippers are required to complete the practical work; these tools have sharp edges and as such can cut the hands if not used correctly.
  • Ensure swarf from drilling or cutting copper tracks is removed from the work area using a dust pan and brush.

Other workshop hazards

  • Electric shock from faulty equipment/cable/incorrect fuse or wiring
  • Hazardous /Toxic chemicals used to produce printed circuit boards

Safety equipment

  • Know when to use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), safety glasses, gloves, lab coats etc.
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