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Attempted service to microwave results in fatal electrocution

An experienced electrician (12 years with the company) opened up a microwave in order to service it, in spite of dire warnings not to do so. A warning label, prominently displayed on the machine, clearly indicated the potential for high voltage as follows:

“Warning – High voltage and microwave energy. Do not remove any cover. Caution – Always disconnect the mains plug from the wall socket before servicing. The unit contains no user-serviceable parts. Refer servicing to authorised personnel. This unit contains dangerous voltages.”

He put a tester across the disconnected leads with the power on (several thousand volts). The current went to the ground through his body, via the ice-making machine next to where he was working – burn marks confirm this. The incident resulted in a fatality.

To address this incident, the company has issued the following instruction to its personnel:

“With immediate effect the on-site repair of domestic equipment which contains high voltage components is strictly prohibited (such equipment includes microwave ovens, television sets, PC monitors, electrical insect killers, etc). These types of equipment should be returned to an authorised vendor for repair.”

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