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One danger present in traffic signal cabinets has always been the potential for serious injury or death of maintenance and operations staff due to the electrical hazard present in the cabinet.

While most connections are covered and protect the user from shock or electrocution, it is still possible for injury due to failure of grounding, improper handling, carelessness and insufficient training. Some agencies have addressed this by requiring that their technicians be certified electricians, others have created custom cabinet configurations that separate the low-voltage (detection and communications) from the high voltage (signals and lighting), while others choose to use terminology in job descriptions to address the issue (qualified personnel). Care has always been required when working inside of the cabinet, but even the most careful technician is not immune to accidental shock or arc flash injury. The spectrum of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to work inside these cabinets also varies widely, from full insulated elbow length gloves and face shields, to none at all. Often those who are tasked with maintaining the traffic signals are thrust into the duty as an afterthought or due to budget constraints, which increases the potential for accidental harm. The low-voltage cabinet was designed to make the cabinet safer to operate, maintain and reduce the potential of catastrophic damage due to component failure or short-circuiting. The NEC and UL define a low-voltage system in different terms and applications; here we are defining low-voltage as non-ripple DC voltage of less than 50V.

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