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Safety and Maintenance

In the EU, manufacturers of stunning equipment are required by law to provide instructions for the safe and proper use and maintenance of the equipment; manufacturers' instructions must always be followed.

All electrical stunning equipment is potentially dangerous to staff. The equipment should only be used by properly trained, skilled individuals. Particular care should be taken of the equipment, with regular checks and maintenance carried out by a qualified electrician. All electrical stunning equipment should work by the use of an isolated circuit, in which current flows preferentially between the two electrodes; nevertheless, if a person contacts the electrodes there is a danger of a fatal electric shock.

Safe Operation

  • Use safety switches or triggers so that the current only flows when the switch is held down by the operator.
  • Do not tape switches down so that the electrodes are permanently live.
  • Have a pre-set timer which regulates the duration of the current flow. With some models of equipment the voltage returns to a low level between each stunning episode. This low voltage is used for immediately sensing the resistance between the electrodes and, once detected as within pre-set limits, the stunner switches instantly to the higher stunning voltage which is applied for the pre-set duration.
  • House the control box in a separate area which is always kept dry.
  • Inform operators, via warning lights, of the state of the equipment, e.g. ready, stun on, stun complete etc.

Cleaning and Storage

  • Electrodes should be cleaned regularly to ensure that there is minimal contact resistance. Clean with a wire brush, a powered wire wheel, or place the electrodes in a cleaning station, after every 20-25 animals.
  • When not in use, tongs should be stored in a dry environment with the electrodes protected from damage.
  • Between stunning operations and/or when filling pens, tongs should be seated on a mounted wall-bracket, or in a cleaning station.

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