Electrical Testing
Tip of the Week: Use Test and Measurement Equipment Safely

Tip of the Week: Use Test and Measurement Equipment Safely

Pay attention to the safety information that is provided with your testing equipment.

Unlike cheap knock-off test equipment, brand name test equipment is designed for safety and manufactured to exacting standards for safety, reliability, and accuracy. But working with electricity is inherently dangerous and so is any test equipment if used improperly.

For example, do you connect a DMM one lead at a time, or do you hold a probe in each hand and connect both at the same time? The correct answer is one lead at a time, but do you know why?

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The manual for every piece of test equipment comes with safety information. Do you take the time to read it? Some manufacturers of specialized test equipment provide training classes; these are typically worth the cost based on increased productivity alone, but safety is also a good justification.

And don’t accept the misguided notion that using non-contact test equipment means you’re safe. Consider a thermographic camera. Someone just looking at the camera may wonder how using it could possibly be dangerous.

Using the camera often involves removing the covers of energized equipment. One way to reduce hazards there is to install infrared ports on equipment where infrared inspection is on the maintenance schedule.

Make thermography even safer by installing a camera permanently in that location; contact any infrared camera manufacturer for guidance on this idea. It’s surprisingly more affordable than many people think; for one reason, you usually need only bare-bones features for this dedicated camera.

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