It was the early 1990s and building Jefferson Labs Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator was in high gear. The Accelerator Division was busy installing some 30 vacuum ion pumps in the tunnel. Simultaneously, above ground in the long, low service buildings sitting over the tunnel, workers were installing and wiring the 7 kV, high-voltage power supplies for those ion pumps.
"With the procedures we had in place we were never in danger," recalled Rick Gonzales, Accelerator Electronics Support (AES) technical associate, "but we didnt want to take any unnecessary chances while we were working on the pumps, with the power supplies remotely mounted. We searched catalogues and asked vendors for a good lockout device we could use on the pumps, but nothing existed for equipment with removable power cords."
"So we made do with duct tape and a magic marker," Gonzales continued. "We would cover a pumps power-cord connector with tape so the cord couldnt be plugged in. And with the marker we wrote dont plug in across the tape. It was our added safety measure while we did the work. This way no one could power up the supply while we were working on the pump."
Linda Ware | EurekAlert!
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