Assembling and Testing electronic circuits. Preparation.

Published February 28, 2018 by Sean

Before you start assembling a circuit in a working environment, there are some general preparations which you need to make. Since this is a work environment, it is covered by health and safety legislation. There might also be specific working practices defined, such as not working alone (in case of accident), only eating/drinking at designated locations in the workplace, clear access routes, etc.

Many chemicals and products which you work with can be dangerous (if ingested, heated, mixed with other products, or even if they are physically damaged. Legislation called COSHH defines some of the things you and your employer must do to minimise the risks, and you should have access to an Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for everything you work with. You also need to be aware of risks from hot or cold materials, moving equipment and electrocution.

There will be instructions to describe the work you have to do. These can be detailed instructions for every step, or you may need to work with various types of schematic and standard procedures to complete the work. Within this, each operation may require you to use defined techniques for each stage. These may be documented, or you might be expected to use an accepted approach which is learnt by experience. Some working environments (aerospace for example) may have stricter requirements for these operations, requiring documentation and formalised regular training in technique. Regardless of the detail, the standards which you are expected to work to will be defined and you should take responsibility for ensuring that your work meets the standard expected.

It is important to use the correct techniques since the way that components are mounted and fixed can affect the safety or operation of a circuit when it is being used, long after assembly and testing is completed.

You must check that the tools you are using are safe and in good condition. This can include calibration and electrical safety testing (which both need to be repeated at regular intervals). You should know any risks specific to your workplace, and know how to act in case of an accident to make the environment safe, to summon assistance, and when to try to provide aid yourself without putting yourself in danger. If the task requires you to use a tool which you are not familiar with, it is your responsibility to raise this as an issue and avoid putting yourself at risk.

In addition to these items which will apply to every task, you need to prepare for the specific task. This is described in the next post.

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