Use tools, meters, and other equipment that are suitable for the voltage and current levels present when performing all electrical work. If dropped or slipped while working on live equipment, they may reduce the possibility of creating an arc flash incident. In addition, using proper torque control limits the use of excessive force being applied which could lead to the tool slipping off.
Insulated tools or equipment are designed to provide insulation from an energized part or conductor. They may have conductive parts and be adequately coated or covered by a dielectric material, or may be composed entirely of insulating materials. Insulated industrial hand tools are typically V-rated (voltage rated) stamped on the handle with an emblem of a double triangle. Such tools must be certified that meet ASTM F1505 Specification for Insulated Hand Tools and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.335(a)(2)(i) standards.
NFPA 70E 2015 130.7(D)(1) Insulated Tools and Equipment states that employees must use insulated tools when working inside the limited approach boundary. The NFPA 130.7(C)(15)(a) Hazard/Risk Category Classifications table list tasks that require insulated hand tools.
When working on energized equipment:
NOTE: Wrapping a tool in electrical tape or non-conductive material does not qualify it as an insulated tool.
Electrical testing devices such as voltage meter, ohmmeter, etc., can be the cause of an arc flash incident:
Testing meters should be carefully selected on their intended use, safety features, and voltage ratings and used strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
NFPA 2015 Article 250.4 Test Instruments and 110.4 Use of Electrical Equipment requires that test instruments and the leads used for the purpose of detection of voltage need to be functionally maintained and verified.
Figure 1: Voltage Rated Tools
Figure 2: Using V-Rated Tool on De-energized Equipment
Figure 3: Voltage Tester