The Importance of Insulated Tools as An Electrician & Electrical Safety PPE

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Insulated Tools 

Insulated tools are hand tools used by electricians, designed to protect them against injury if they encounter an energised source. 

The use and application of insulated tools and PPE by electricians are required by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). This means they should be a vital part of your tool kit. 

Why Use Insulated Tools 

Insulated tools are important when conducting any electrical work that needs to be carried out “hot” or on live circuits. 

By using insulation tools, you are allowing for significant protection in situations where it may not deem possible to disconnect the circuit. An example of this could be, working on a railway track that needs to remain active for other purposes. 

Likewise, insulated tools are also very useful in unexpected situations when you may not be aware that you are working on a live circuit. Without these insulated tools or even insulated gloves to hand, you could be at risk of a serious incident. 

No other handmade protection on basic tools will provide the same level of defence as fully certified insulated tools like ours at Boddingtons Electrical. 

How to Tell If Your Hand Tools Are Insulated 

Every insulated tool must be marked with the year it was insulated and an official 1,000-volt rating symbol, which ensures protection for live use up to this voltage. 

Most hand tools come with rubber coating over the handle. However, it is essential to hold the understanding that this material is primarily designed for comfort and grip, and is not principally there for protection from electricity; the rubber is too thin on the tools to be preventing you from an incident. 

In association with this, insulated tools hold multiple layers of plastic as well as rubber. The base layer often consists of the plastic, and is usually a brighter colour (yellow) than the rubber on the outer layer. Yet, when the brighter colour becomes visible, it means that the use of the tool has been fatigued, and so the tool should be thrown away and replaced as soon as possible. 

So, before you buy insulated tools, always look for… 

· The 1000V symbol. 

· The handle is thick and brightly coloured. 

· Make sure it has large finger guards at the top of the handles.