9 tools that help protect electrical workers

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9 tools that help protect electrical workers

As any electrician or technician will tell you, the best way to avoid the hazards of electrical shock and arc flash is to stay away from the source of those hazards. However, that's easier said than done. After all, like it or not, there are times when you have to inspect and troubleshoot energized equipment, which means suiting up in personal protective equipment (PPE).

But what if you could safely reduce the amount of PPE required by moving the technician or electrician farther away from the electrical hazard? That's possible with the use of a growing list of noncontact test tools and technologies. Please note: Using the tools below does not remove the requirement for PPE. Reference NFPA Standard 70E for the specific guidelines for non-contact measurement practices, including thermal imaging.

  1. Noncontact Infrared Thermometers
    Among the simplest noncontact test tools to use – stay off ladders, away from heat.

  2. Visual Infrared Thermometers
    Creates digital infrared heat map of the inspection target from up to 10 ft. away.

  3. Infrared Cameras
    A highly informative thermal image without making contact with equipment.

  4. Infrared Windows
    Inspect energized components with the panel door closed.

  5. Laser Distance Meters
    Noncontact measurements of up to 200 ft (61 m) from the floor.

  6. Noncontact Voltage Detectors
    Help verify that a panel, circuit or device is de-energized before touching.

  7. Remote Display Multimeters
    Inspect motor, other energized components from up to 30 ft. (9 m) away.

  8. Wireless Test Tools & Software
    Electrical, thermal, vibration measurements from 60 ft. (18 m) and shared anywhere.

  9. Proving Units
    Portable sources of a verified voltage can satisfy some elements of 2015 NFPA 70E 110.4(B)(5).

Evolving to a Safer Future
Wireless tools and their corresponding software are continuing to evolve. With some wireless tools, technicians can view measurements in real time on their phones, laptops or tablets and share those results with team members in multiple locations. Measurement data also can be stored securely in the cloud and accessed by authorized users.

For more information on Electrical Safety, see our online course available at the Fluke eLearning Center. 

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Test Tool Safety

Fundamental information about using safety test tools such as meters and PPE