Computer Safety Procedures – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 5.1

When working with computer and printers, there are always important safety considerations to keep in mind. In this video, you’ll learn about equipment grounding, personal safety topics, how to handle toxic waste, and more.

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If you’re working with any electrical device, no matter how large or how small, you should always be aware of the danger associated with power. If you’re working on these devices, remove all power sources before even getting into or working on that device. There should be no reason you would ever be working on the inside of a device, and have that device directly connected to any power source. And you should, of course, never touch anything inside of these devices, unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe. If you’re working with power supplies inside of a desktop or a laptop device, then it’s very common to replace the entire power supply, rather than trying to repair some individual component inside of the power supply itself.

And of course, these devices that we use all the time have a lot of voltage going through them. So if you’re working on a computer or a laser printer, make sure you’re unplugging from a power source, to avoid any type of voltage discharge. Most of our computing devices connect to an outlet that includes an electrical ground. On our United States outlets, we have a line, we have a neutral, and we have a ground connector that’s underneath. If there’s a fault inside of this device, and there is electrical discharge, all of that electricity will flow into the electrical ground, rather than flowing into you.

You’ll also see electrical grounds on the equipment racks that we use. That way, if electricity does find its way onto the metal rack, it will all flow into that electrical ground. You never want to remove these ground connections on our components, on our electrical outlets, or on these equipment racks. All of these are there to protect you if there’s ever an electrical discharge, and take all of that electricity away from you. You should also never connect yourself to this electrical ground.

I’ve seen electrostatic discharge devices that, for some reason, plug into the same electrical ground that all of this electricity will flow through if there’s a problem. You never want to connect yourself directly to this power source, or anywhere near this power source, so you never want to plug into anything that’s near that outlet, or that’s near an existing electrical ground. We’re often working inside these very high voltage devices. They are devices that have mechanical components inside of them, so it’s always a good idea to remove anything that might be dangling into these devices, like jewelry, badge neck straps. Or if you’re using one of these neck straps, make sure it’s one that can easily break away from your neck.

We also have to lift some pretty heavy pieces of equipment, and you have to remember to always lift with your legs and keep your back straight. Never bend over to pick up a piece of equipment. You also don’t want to carry any overweight items. You want to be sure to get equipment that you could put this on, and then roll it somewhere else. And of course, because we’re dealing with electrical equipment, we have to think of fire safety in a different way. We can’t use foam, and we can’t use water, to put out an electrical fire. Instead, use something like carbon dioxide, FM-200, or other dry chemicals that you might have inside of your extinguishers. And if you have the ability to remove the power source if there’s a fire, you should also do that as soon as possible.

Another important safety consideration are the cables that we use. We use a lot of cables, for power and for networking, and these become very obvious trip hazards. Make sure you tie them together, and put them in a place where nobody can easily trip over these cables. You might also want to consider using safety goggles, especially if you’re working with any chemicals and batteries. It’s going to also be useful if you’re working on a printer repair, especially when there’s a lot of toner inside of a laser printer. You might also want to consider wearing an air filter mask. On these computers, they can be very dusty on the inside, and if you’re working inside a laser printer, there can often be a lot of toner floating around in the air.

We also work with a lot of toxic waste. If you work a lot with uninterruptible power supplies, then you’re probably working a lot with batteries. And if you need to dispose of some of these batteries, you need to make sure you take them to your local hazardous waste facility. You might even have some of those old cathode ray tubes in the back room. Some of these old CRTs contain lead in the glass, so you also want to take those to your hazardous waste facility, as well. And it’s also a good idea to reuse our toner cartridges, rather than throwing them out into the environment.

Some manufacturers even have a return label in the toner box, so that you can send the old toner cartridge back to them. Some office supply companies will even give you a discount, if you bring in your old toner cartridge and drop it off with them. Regardless of where you are in the world, there are probably some local governmental regulations you have to keep in mind, as well. Certainly, there are health and safety laws associated with your workplace. You want to be sure to keep everything hazard-free.

There are usually building codes you have to keep in mind, especially if you’re routing network cables or you’re replacing part of your data center, and you have to keep in mind fire prevention, and all of the proper electrical codes. There’s also important environmental regulations to keep in mind, as well, so make sure that you’re disposing of all of your electrical components in the proper way.