Underwriters Laboratories did basic research in
the field of safety and published the results of
that research in a series of "Bulletins of
Research." At least 58 bulletins were published
relating to fire, explosion, and electric shock.
One of those Bulletins, "Electric Shock as it
Pertains to the Electric Fence," is a classic
document in the field of product safety. The
research was performed from 1936 to 1939 by Baron
Whitaker, an Assistant Electrical Engineer at UL.
Whitaker ultimately ascended to the presidency of
Whitaker's research still stands today. While
similar research has been done in support of
modern IEC publications, such research is usually
published only in IEC committee papers and is
usually highly focused towards the specific
standard or report the IEC is attempting to write.
This UL Bulletin of Research on the electric fence
contains much information that applies to much
more than just the electric fence. This is why it
is a classic work.
Whitaker wanted to determine the maximum value of
current, for both ac and dc, the frequency, and
the duration that "can be considered as not being
hazardous to human life."
Whitaker undertook to determine values for:
1. Body electrical resistance
2. Safe open-circuit voltage.
3. Effects of dc, interrupted dc, ac, and
frequency of ac.
4. The maximum current and duration which
will not cause bodily injury.
5. The minimum off time.
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