I have known David MacCollum, a noted safety engineer, for a number of years. The Arizona resident has written a novel entitled Murder by Electrocution. It is not only good reading but also instructive from a safety perspective. For more than 60 years, the hazard of boomed equipment making contact with overhead power lines has been an ever-increasing source of wrongful injuries that maim for life or result in an extremely painful death. To overcome predictable human error, engineers must implement design-based safety, rather than speculate that such behavior can be modified. For more than 50 years, power line proximity sensors and interlocks have been known to stop dangerous boom movement before the power line is struck, thereby eliminating the hazard. The use of insulation guards against the dangerous flow of electrical current should contact be made.
The MacCollum novel explains in graphic form how easily overhead contact accidents can happen and the devastating results that occur. The novel also shows how elimination of the hazard and guarding against the flow of dangerous electrical current will save lives. This book not only describes the boom hazard in great detail, but it also tells how important the court system is for people and for safety. This novel describes how the legal system is often abused by Corporate America in order to avoid implementing system safety.
In addition to being an interesting novel, readers will learn about electrical hazards, safety design features and how some parts of industry and society aggressively work at defeating safety. I recommend this book for lawyers, lay people and even for safety and design engineers. The book is available for sale through the International System Safety Society, P.O. Box 70, Unionville, VA 22567-0070 USA Tel: 540-854-8630; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.system-safety.org.
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