John Blackburn unveils the mystery.
Today I want to go through a question which is often asked by the students who are running through their training courses.
When they’re doing the inspection stage, we look at leads and all the things that we need to check. When we’re looking at the plug you can see there is a little bit of black on there and the students often asked:“What’s that there for?“
Well, the answer’s pretty simple. It’s a little bit of isolation and it’s designed that when you plug the, that into a powerpoint, it doesn’t have to go in all the way in order for it to make contact with the connectors in the power outlet. So if it’s hanging out a little bit because it might not be pushed all the way into the powerpoint, something can drop across it like a paperclip, a screwdriver, maybe your car keys or something like that; or maybe if you’re bending down to pull it out and you hanve’t turned the powerpoint off maybe your necklace can drop down and touch one of those pins and that could result in a short circuit and if it was part of your clothing, like a necklace, then you could get an electric shock and we don’t want that to happen.
So, they put that little bit of insulation on this, so that if something drops across, then we don’t make the connection. Likewise, when you’ve got the socket end and we plug something into it, if it’s not all the way in, the same thing can occur. There have been cases where people have joined them together and their necklaces or even metallic parts of their clothing has touched the the active pin and they received a shock. So, not a good situation.
When we do the inspection part of what we have to check that the insulation on the pins is in good condition, that it’s not damaged. If it is, then it’s a fail and all we have to do is we just chop the plug off and we replace it with a new plug; pretty easy to fix.
You see here, that’s one of the old styles and you notice there is no isolation on that. So, if we’ve got an older appliance and it doesn’t have that insulation does it mean we have to fail it? No. If it’s the original equipment and that’s the way it was designed, that’s okay.
But if you need to replace that at some point because the lead or the plug been damaged, then yes, you will have to put the new style one on which has got the insulated pins on them.
So have we looked at your appliances. If it’s got that black isolation on the pins and it has been damaged then it should be replaced.
If you’re in doubt, give me your call.
Take care, keep safe.
This information is general in nature, should be used as a guide only and read in conjunction with the relevant Standard(s), State and/or Federal Legislation, Codes of Practice and Industry Standards specific to your workplace. A proper risk assessment should be under taken before acting on the information provided in this document or any related material. Further information can also be obtained from your local Workplace Authority, Electrical Safety Authority or a suitably qualified persons. This article is copyright protected.