Top 10 Tips for Designing Safety into Electrical Products

Electrical Source Magazine features an article in its July/August 2011 issue that gives an overview on how to design electrical products to comply with safety standards including UL 60950-1, the safety standard for IT Equipment. “Working by Electrical Standards” was written recently by MET Laboratories Product Safety Engineer Tim Su.

The article describes the safety hazards, and provides preventive actions for each of these hazards. These design tips include:

  1. Own and read applicable standards
  2. Identify the potential hazards: electrical shock, electrical energy, risk of fire, mechanical, heat, radiation or chemical
  3. Choose properly certified and rated components
  4. Design in proper spacing and insulation
  5. Design enclosures taking those hazards into account
  6. Minimize openings
  7. Apply proper markings
  8. Develop a user manual and installation manual that include the proper safety precautions
  9. Maintain a file of data sheets and evidence of safety compliance of critical components
  10. Have your proposed design reviewed by a safety compliance specialist

Preventive design not only protects the end user, but also saves time and money for the manufacturer during the safety certification process.

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