When working with fiber there are a few rules that MUST
always be remembered and practiced.† I
repeat, these rules Must always be remembered and practiced
at all times when working with fiber optics.
Rule #1: †Safety Glasses
- Safety glasses MUST be worn at all
times during the fiber optic lab exercises or anytime termination or
splicing work is performed on a fiber cable.† The biggest hazard when working with
fiber optics are small, sharp shards of the fiber produced when stripping
or cleaving the cable!!!†
- If you
notice at any time a classmate or instructor not wearing safety glasses in
the area where fiber is being cut, stripped, or cleaved, you must
immediately tell the person to put on their glasses and tell the
Rule #2: †Glass Fiber Shards
very careful when disposing of fiber ends.†
Use a Disposable Fiber Trash Bin (Fiber Disposal Unit =FDU) to hold
small bits of glass until they can properly disposed of in the trash.† For safety, remember to cover the holes
on top of the FDU before storing your bin (unit) in your tool kits (box).
- If you
donít have a FDU to use when working in some environments, then carefully
make a container, like a half empty water bottle or soda can, before using.† This helps to prevent accidents.† There was a story told in class once of
someone accidentally drink fiber shards from a water bottle. ††(Click here to read this story.)† Make time to mark the container in some
meaningful way with markers or tape.†
This will prevent someone from accidentally drinking fiber shards.
glass fiber creates slivers or shards that can easily cause injury to the
eyes or create glass splinters in fingers or hands that are difficult to see
to remove from skin, which can become infected if not completely removed.† Always keep a disposable fiber trash bin
nearby for all fiber scraps.†
Develop the habit of picking up scraps from the work surface and
the floor too.† You may know a glass
shard is dropped or lost and can take care, but another person like a
co-worker or cleaning crew may come along and not be aware that fiber was
being worked in the area.
tape can be used to pick up small shards of fiber.†† Fold the scotch tape around the glass
shards before disposing in the trash can.†
This helps to keep others, like members of the cleaning crew, from
becoming hurt accidentally.
- Always wear safety glasses when
working with optical fibers.
Rule #3: †Black Paper
paper or other dark colored paper or fabric can be used to give a dark
colored work surface.† This helps
make the fiber more visible when working with it.† It has the side benefit of allowing the
fiber cores to be more easily seen, †especially when you have a run
doing fiber work epoxy, anaerobic adhesive (?), and isopropyl alcohol will
be used. ††The isopropyl alcohol is
flammable.† (Anything else flammable
as well?) Take extra care when handling these substances.† It is best to develop the habit of
watching for bits of epoxy on your tools or work surface and cleaning it
with the alcohol.† Develop the habit
of wiping all tools frequently with a fiber free cloth or wipe and
in mind that epoxy is not removable from clothing!
Rule #5: †Skin Oils
- Do not
touch bare fibers with fingers.† The
oil from your skin can weaken the fiber over time.† It tends to make the glass fiber
Rule #6: †Hot ovens & terminators
removed from the curing ovens will be EXTREMELY HOT!† Use caution when touching hot terminators.† Small amounts of alcohol on a fiber free
wipe may be used to help cool the terminator more quickly.
- After the
terminator is removed from the oven, the exposed fiber is dangerous and more
brittle.† Take great care to ensure the
glass rod does not break, pierce the skin, or get into the eyes of you or
any other person.
The Mystery Rule