Today amongst many things, I was directed to connect a power quality monitor to a main circuit breaker that was fed by three UPS systems. I noticed the arc flash sticker and it had incident energy of 70 Cal. I informed the customer that no amount of PPE on earth could protect me from the potential arc-flash and I could not do the work. We found a safer location upstream with incident energy of 30 cal and were able to collect the exact same data.
5 years ago, I would have just suited up and connected the meter at the original location. It's important to realize that safety is ultimately our responsibility in the field. Many times a customer's understanding of their own equipment is far less than our own as test technicians - that's why we are there in the first place after all. I could say the same about the management staff at my own shop.
I can honestly say that regular safety meetings have been helping me stay more conscious of my safety. They are responsible for a subconscious shift in my thinking and now I have much more confidence when I walk on to a job site to perform a dangerous task. I have no problem telling someone that a particular task is unsafe and we need to find a safer way.
Let's make sure we all go home at the end of the day.