Arc faults are a constant danger to electrical workers. Of course, wearing the correct PPE can reduce your risk of injury in the event of an arc flash. But strive to prevent it from even happening. These prevention measures reduce the risk of an arc flash when using test equipment:
- Inspect test leads before using. Discard and replace leads that appear damaged in any way.
- Have your partner inspect your meter setup before you attach leads. Climbers inspect each others’ harness and tie-ins before each ascent, because they don’t get a “do over”. Neither do you.
- Use only one hand to connect test leads. If you have a lead in each hand and try to attach them simultaneously, you risk creating an ionization trail between the leads. And that will produce an arc flash. The one-handed method also reduces the chance that current will flow across your heart.
- If measuring to ground, always make the ground connection first. Remove it last.
You can also reduce arc fault risk by ensuring that equipment is de-energized when you intend for it to be so. No matter what someone has told you or what tags are in place, always assume contacts are hot until you have measured (with the one-hand method) to prove they are not. Follow this three-step process: check your meter to prove it’s measuring (e.g., measure a known hot contact), check the allegedly “de-energized” contact, then check your meter again.
Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection