TOOLBOX TALK 58/60
TOPIC: PORTABLE ELECTRICAL TOOLS – PART 1 OF 2
OBJECTIVE: TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF PORTABLE ELECTRICAL TOOLS
Some things to know before you give your talk.
- How many times have you heard these words spoken about power tools? “It’s only a small power tool – it can’t hurt me.”
- There are many accidents reports that show that a 220-volt shock can be fatal.
- It’s not the voltage that will get you; it’s the amperage or current.
Explain to your crew how they are protected from electrical faults. Tell them about:
- Third (earth) wire (complete with earthing prong) on the outlets and extension cords.
- This provides a low-resistance path to ground. Should they come in contact with a fault in the cord or tool, the current will take the path of least resistance: going to the ground through the third wire rather than through their body.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
- This device measures current on the hot wire and the neutral wire – they should be the same. If they are not, that means that the current is leaking. In that case, the GFCI will trip when it senses a difference as little as 5mAA (milli amperes).
- Nuisance tripping of a GFCI can be corrected with some simple investigation. If a long extension cord is used, insert a portable GFCI at the working end. Look at all connections, are any wet or in water? Test the tool, it may have a fault in it. Test the GFCI, they can also break. But don’t bypass it!