Insulated hand tools are used by electricians or anyone who is working near energized circuits. OSHA created guidelines that require the individual testing and certification by manufacturers on insulated hand tools. They must meet certain criteria in working conditions that involve electrical circuits. 1000 volts AC and 1500 volts DC is the maximum rated voltage for insulated tools and manufacturers do their own testing for compliance. Insulated tools must comply with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Deutsches Institute for Normung (DIN-German Standard), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) who set the performance requirements.
It is not advisable to use insulated tools on electric circuits. They are important as a part of safeguarding the electrician or technician from accidental contact.
- Each time that you’ll be using insulated tools for a job, take the time to visually inspect them first.
- Insulated hand tools do not make you invincible! Insulated tools aren’t foolproof solutions for avoiding electric shock: they are simply designed to reduce your risk of electrical injury. In all possible situations, be sure to de-energize all lines and equipment before you begin working on or near them.
- Think before you touch! Whenever you’re working with insulated tools, never touch their uninsulated portions, or any other object that might come into contact with an energized source.
- Keep your insulated tools clean, dry, and contaminant-free.
- In order to avoid insulation damage, always store insulated tools away from heat sources.
Most accidents happen because one or more safe operating procedures were not followed.
Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines and tips. For comprehensive Occupational Safety standards and other workplace safety information, visit the Occupation Safety and Health Administration website at http://www.osha.gov.
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