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Lincoln Continues to Push Electrical Safety

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100422-14

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jerine Lee, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) have made great strides to take extra precautions and safety measures while working around electrical equipment.

Lincoln completed an extensive electrical safety stand down in March 2010 to ensure all Sailors were trained, and the ship's electricians have made extra efforts to ensure all electrical equipment is properly safety checked.

"If life is on the line, it doesn't hurt to take extra precautions," said Electrician's Mate Fireman Katie Krowsky, of the electrical tool issue room on board Lincoln. "If the ship provides the tools to be safe, you might as well use it rather than be sorry later."

It is also mandatory for Sailors to go to the electrical tool issue room to have their personal gear such as irons, phone chargers and laptop chargers safety checked once bringing it on board the ship. If any personal gear not safety checked are found on board the ship, it can be confiscated.

"Certain chargers and simple appliances are not safe for the ship's electric system," said Krowsky, of Milwaukee, Wis. "Forcing something through the system can really hurt someone so we really push Sailors to check if their personal items are authorized."

The electrical system of a ship is very different compared to that of a residence. The ship does not have the same grounding system as homes because there is no ground to absorb electricity, preventing electrocution.

"The ship is basically a large bathtub," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Ball, Lincoln's electrical officer, a Port Orchard, Ore. native. "We're a metal object constantly surrounded by water so we have to be more cautious with our electrical system."

Besides getting personal items safety checked, the electrical department stresses to notify them if there are any electrical discrepancies around the ship such as corroded wires, dead-end cables or electrical equipment not stowed or wired properly.

"We spend countless hours fixing trouble calls and repairing equipment," said Ball. "But if no one tells us there is a problem, we can't fix it. It is everyone's duty to notify a discrepancy before it hurts our shipmates."

From 1997 to 1999, about 33 percent of personnel injuries on Navy ships and submarines were from electrical shock mishaps.

Although Lincoln hasn't had any electrical injuries recently, the electrical department cannot stress enough how important it is to be safe.

"We have to be a team and watch out for each other," said Ball. "It doesn't hurt to take the extra time and steps needed to prevent bodily harm.

"Some major reasons why people get hurt from electrical shock are overfusing, improper labeling of power panels, corroded or damaged electrical equipment, dead-ended cables, not safety checking personal equipment," said Ball. "We have to keep it mind it only takes 0.1 amps of electricity to kill someone."

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