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Why insulated tools are important

30 Oct 2020 | Safety, Electrical

Anyone who works with or around electricity knows that safety is the priority. It governs what you wear, how you work, and the tools you carry. And by tools we mean all the tools you carry, not just battery-operated test tools. A whopping 91% of electrical workers say insulated hand tools are critical when working on electrical equipment, according to a recent Fluke survey. Electricians, utility workers and maintenance and HVAC technicians carry insulated hand tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and cutters along with the best electrician tools.

The first line of defense when working around electricity is always deenergizing the equipment; but sometimes that isn’t possible. And sometimes nearby energized equipment has unknown energy pathways that might unexpectedly feed voltage into the equipment you’re working on.

Insulated hand tools keep you safe

Insulated tools provide an extra measure of protection against such hazardous and unpredictable situations. High quality insulated hand tools are engineered to protect you from electric shock and reduce the possibility of arc faults caused by short circuits.

The NFPA 70E standard requires insulated tools to be used when working on or near electricity greater than 50 V. This helps protect workers from injury and companies from fines and liability costs resulting from such an accident.

It is critical to understand the difference between a regular hand tool and an insulated tool. A lot of hand tools have a rubber coating over plastic handles but that’s not the same as an insulated tool. True protection against electric shock goes much deeper. High quality insulated hand tools are constructed of a special combination of materials that can block potentially hazardous voltages.

Insulated tool certification

Fluke insulated hand tools

To be certified as insulated tools they must undergo stringent testing by third-party labs to prove that the protection works, and the tools can withstand hard use, extreme temperatures, and even live flame. They must achieve a 1000 V ac rating, so they can be used in a live panel if necessary. They must also comply with international standards including IEC 60900 and ASTM F1505.

That is the level of protection that Fluke engineered into our new line of insulated tools. We have applied the same stringent requirements for safety, reliability, and ergonomics to our insulated hand tools that we require of our handheld test and measurement tools. They are precision engineered of CMV steel for superior durability and manufactured using the most advanced techniques in state-of-the art facilities in Germany.

Safe and ergonomic

Fluke insulated hand tools are also designed to minimize wear and tear on you. They are ergonomically designed to adapt to your hand to lessen strain and fatigue and help prevent repetitive motion injuries. Our insulated pliers and cutters give you more gripping strength and are slim enough to more easily access jammed junction boxes and panels.

If you work around live equipment and you’re not sure how much protection your tools provide, you need to find out.

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