Safety Precautions when Working with Electrical Equipment

Summary: This article looks to provide some basic safety precautions when working with computer equipment. It will go into further detail on standby power, electro-Static Discharge (ESD) and See more

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Table of Contents :

  1. Safety Precautions

This article describes precautions and information on safety procedures when working with computer and general electrical equipment.


1. Safety Precautions


Observe the following safety precautions before performing any installation or break/fix procedures involving disassembly or re-assembly:

  • Turn off the system and any attached peripherals.
  • Disconnect the system and any attached peripherals from AC power, and then remove the battery.
  • Disconnect any telephone or telecommunications lines from the system.
  • Use a wrist grounding strap and mat when working inside any computer system to avoid electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage.
  • After removing any system component, carefully place the removed component on an anti-static mat.
  • Wear shoes with non-conductive rubber soles to help reduce the chance of being shocked or seriously injured in an electrical accident.

Standby Power


Dell products with standby power must be completely unplugged before opening the case. Systems that incorporate standby power are essentially powered while turned off. The internal power allows the system to be remotely turned on (wake on LAN), suspended into a sleep mode, and have other advanced power management features.

After unplugging the system, allow the charge to drain from the circuits by waiting approximately 30 to 45 seconds before removing components. 

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ESD is a major concern when handling components, especially expansion cards and system boards. Very slight charges can damage circuits in ways that may not be obvious, such as intermittent problems or a shortened product lifespan. 

For more information see Protection Against Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)


Why is controlling ESD important?

  • The Voltage required to damage many current devices is less than the human body’s level of sensitivity. A spark only occurs at 3000V to 3500V and some devices can be destroyed at less than 100V.
  • ESD tolerance in major chips/circuit board is being reduced over time to improve system speed but this would make the chips more sensitive to ESD damage.
Do not use an ESD grounding strap when working on the internal parts of a monitor, like the CRT, because the stored voltage is extremely harmful.


To prevent static damage, see the below tips:

  • Use an ESD wrist strap that is properly grounded.
  • If a strap is not available, discharge static electricity from your body before you touch any of your computer's electronic components, by touching an unpainted metal surface on the computer chassis. Periodically touch an unpainted metal surface to remove any static charge your body may have accumulated.
  • Handle all static-sensitive components in a static-safe area. If possible, use anti-static floor pads and workbench pads.
  • When handling static-sensitive components, grab them by the sides, not the top. Avoid touching pins and circuit boards.
  • When unpacking a static-sensitive component from its shipping carton, do not remove the component from the anti-static packing material until you are ready to install the component. Before unwrapping the anti-static packaging, be sure to discharge static electricity from your body.
  • Before transporting a static-sensitive component, place it in an anti-static container or packaging.


What if grounding is NOT available?

What can you do when servicing a system and you have no way to ground yourself via a wrist strap or alternative grounding equipment? 

Touching unpainted metal before handling parts can often provide the grounding required:

For Desktops, Printers & Servers:
Prior to removing internal components touch the metal chassis to remove any charge you may have.

SLN288575_en_US__21390910338741.desktop mem
For Notebooks & Portables:
Prior to removing memory or other internal components touch the metal chassis to remove any charge you may have.

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For more information on ESD see WIKI site on Electrostatic discharge 

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Lifting Equipment

Do not lift greater than 50 pounds independently. Always obtain assistance from a second person or utilize a mechanical lifting device.

Adhere to the following guidelines when lifting equipment:

  1. Take your time think about the situation, plan, and follow the safety tips when lifting.
  2. Get a firm balanced footing. Keep your feet apart for a stable base, and point your toes out.
  3. Bend your knees. Do not bend at the waist.
  4. Tighten stomach muscles. Abdominal muscles support your spine when you lift, offsetting the force of the load.
  5. Lift with your legs, not your back.
  6. Keep the load close. The closer it is to your spine, the less force it exerts on your back.
  7. Keep your back upright, whether lifting or setting down the load. Do not add the weight of your body to the load. Avoid twisting your body and back.
  8. Follow the same techniques in reverse to set the load down



  • Keep your head up when carrying equipment
  • Always look ahead
  • Try to move smoothly
  • Don't handle more than can be comfortably managed (if in doubt seek assistance)
Safe lifting is Not intuitive - It is common for people to lift with their backs. However easy it may be to lift the item this way, it can lead to injury.

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Article Properties

Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Electronics & Accessories, Monitors & Accessories, Projectors & Accessories, Laptops, Latitude, Servers, Tablets

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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