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Super Hero
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Super Hero
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I'll take that as a "No", then. frown


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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Super Hero
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Originally Posted By: Geoff Hannis

Has anyone tried this one? think


I see that MCC are doing them now.

Has anyone tried them? Are they any good? Do they solve the "problem"? think

See also - retaining clips!

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Master
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Master
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At least one positive side to living on the continent......

NO f*°+ing fuses in plug tops!!!!!!


Malcolm.

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Super Hero
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Not good, Malcolm ... unprotected mains cables! tut

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Philosopher
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Same here in Oz. Took me quite a while to get used to the idea of not having a fuse in the plug but I don't even think about it now.
Plenty of other protection about.


Thoughts and information provided on this forum are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the policy of NSW Health. They may also be complete bollocks!!
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Super Hero
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Also a 50/50 chance every time of reversed "live" and "neutral". frown

Probably OK with "new" kit, and distribution systems which have circuit breakers in every line (and every outlet individually protected) ... but otherwise, there must be [are] places out in the Bush (and corresponding locations in other parts of the world) where the Good Old British approach would be a safer bet! smile

As an aside, I can remember many years ago (when the majority of kit still had a fixed mains cable) we used to fit plug fuses according to the equipment themselves - many of which would have been otherwise unfused. The idea being that every SAM suction pump (etc.) had a 7-Amp fuse (or whatever). That was probably about the time I started making lists!

And yes, I still fit the "correct" plug fuse on my own kit (soldering irons, chargers, computers, and so forth). I also like RCD's in the workshop (kitchen these days), as well! Some habits are worth preserving if you hope to survive.

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Super Hero
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I have since remembered that the typical (and distinctive) Australian power plug is in fact polarized ... so the "mains reversal" situation (which I believe is actually a Single Fault Condition - SFC) should not occur.

That may not be true in Malcolm's situation, however ... depending upon which variety of Ticino plug he is used to seeing; although I know that plug and sockets arrangements can (and do) vary across "harmonized" Europe.

That's the nice thing about Standards; there are so many to choose from. whistle

See here for reference.

I may as well mention (yet again) the infamous "Hospital Grade" ("Green Dot") plug as found in the USA. Also non-fused, of course, despite mains cables carrying heavier current (at only 110 volts).

Although following the same configuration as normal (lesser, cheaper) plugs, these (expensive) plugs are intended to mate in similar sockets, with special requirements regarding "tension" (as in, resistance to being yanked out). All well and good, except that (unless it has changed in recent times) the basic design has the (heavy) cable sticking out from the wall (rather that hanging down gracefully as our BS-1363 does), leading to the usual "sagging" so often seen (with the heavy "washing line" doing the best it can to tip the plug out of secure attachment in the socket).

All that's needed there (I would suggest) is a re-design to have the cable hanging down at 90 degrees. Indeed, I seem to recall having seen a couple of US-style plugs that did exactly that (although I can't remember if they were in fact Hospital Grade).

The other "problem" I have with Hospital Grade is that they are (I believe) only mandated in "Critical Care" areas. So what about all the medical kit used outside those areas? And what about plugging Hospital Grade into "normal" outlets, and vice-versa ... I'll leave it there (for now, at least). smile

For more, see here.

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Super Hero
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OK ... back to the topic; especially with regard to the original discussion about what has become the entrenched practice of users swapping (grabbing) detachable mains cables as as when needed, leaving them dangling (and engerized) from bedhead units ... and all the rest - and what our response should be. Perhaps the time has come to summarize the thread, and (who knows) seek out the latest opinions!

Specifically, I'm refering here to the ubiquitous detachable "IEC cables" that are found in hospitals these days in great number. In the UK these will be BS-1363 (most likely the sturdier BS-1363/A variety) fused plus with a three core cable rated at 10-Amps coupled to an IEC-60320 connector in C13 configuration. In other parts of the world the plug will be whichever one is used (and probably not fused); but the cable and IEC connector are likely to be the same as those mentioned.

A smaller number of other possibilities are bound to exist as well; BS-1363 to IEC C5, for example (as found connected to laptop chargers, and what-have-you), but for sake of argument let's stick with IEC C13 here.

In short, I believe we need to accept the situation as it is, then try to manage "our side of things" (electrical safety, mainly) as best we can. We need to accept that although we may have tested out a system only yesterday, its integrity may very well have already been brought into doubt (after a nurse has snatched up the mains cable for some other urgent task).

My suggestion is basically that all mains cables are equal!

What I mean is, as long as they they are not damaged, or proven to be faulty, then any one cable should be as good as the rest, or any other.

How do we get to this happy state of affairs? How about:-

1) Deciding upon (sourcing) a cable of sufficient quality that we biomeds will be happy with it! Then endeavouring to standarize on that one throughout.

2) Specify (and/or fit) a 10-Amp BS-1362 fuse (that is, a black one) in every plug top.

3) Don't be too fussy if equipment comes into the workshop without a cable. Similarly, don't worry about them being missing when kit is returned to the Equipment Library. But always issue a new cable to accompany the kit as it leaves the workshop or Library.

4) By all means check the complete equipment (that is, complete with cable - how else could you do it?) during PM and after repairs ... but more than that, be obsessive about checking every cable you come across as you stride around your domain.

5) ... and (whilst striding) carry a bag of new cables when out on your rounds so as to be able to swap any dodgy looking cable(s) encountered - then bring those back, cut off both ends, and discard them (the cables themselves may have some scrap value - and the fuses can be removed and used again). If you are feeling really macho you could always carry your side-cutters with you and so be able to impress anyone looking on by neutering those junk cables right there at the Nurses' Station!

6) Be assertive also when digging into the famous cupboards and "spare cables" drawers out on the wards. Drag out all the cables (as well as the rats' nests of old ECG lead wires, "mains adaptors" and all the rest) and bin them all! But be sure to leave a couple of your nice new cables with the Head Nurse before making good your escape.

By following such an approach as outlined above - and continuing to carry it through - you should ultimately end up with a hospital full of decent mains cables that you may be proud of (and confident in)!

In many ways good in-house tech support is a bit like husbandry. Anyone who has had anything to do with farming must have noticed the farmer wandering around, prodding here and there with his stick, and generally "making good" (mending fences, or whatever) as he went along; and not holding back when the time comes to cull (and thereby, improve) the herd! smile

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Super Hero
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In theory, it would be Good Practice to have a system in place that sees mains cables regularly (define "regularly"!) examined for condition, and tested for electrical safety and integrity (insulation, continuity).

However (and as we have seen), this only makes sense if such tests can be documented, which also means that the cables need to be readily indentifiable. That way results can be recorded on our favourite database, spreadsheet, log-book etc.

But how to do this? And how to do it without spending (wasting) endless man-hours that most likely would have been more gainfully expended elsewhere?

We have seen mention of:-

1) Colour-coded cables
2) Individual labelling

I have given this aspect (labelling, recording) a fair amount of thought, and have yet to come up with anything definitive; other than, if you have the resources to tag and record, then by all means do it - but (on the other hand) if you don't, then concentrate instead on the "quality assurance" measures
outlined in the above post.

And, if pressed by Senior Management or Quality Audit Inspectors (or whomever), simply issue a blanket statement along the lines of "a rolling programme of examination and testing of all detachable mains cables is in place"! smile

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Super Hero
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Originally Posted by DaveC in Oz
Don't know what the rules are in the UK and elsewhere but down this way (Aus/NZ) detachable mains cables need their own label which specifies not only test/next test date but the asset number of the device with which the cable was tested, that way you know where the test results are for earth resistance etc should the cable be moved to a different device, as often happens, and that device were to be involved in an incident.

Fixed mains cables do not require a separate label but we often do anyway out of habit as much as anything.
Sounds sensible to me (apart from the un-fused plugs, of course).

Does AS/NZ 3551 call for this?

Is this (labeling of mains cables) common practice anywhere else in the world, I wonder?

On the other hand (see post #21330):-

Originally Posted by Marcel Eve
It took 2 minutes to test a lead, 6 minutes to label it up!


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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