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Insulated Tools

Module two:  Safety 


What is an insulated tool?

Insulated hand tools are mainly used by electricians, to protect them from electrocution and electrical accidents. They’re vital for completing work on any circuit, regardless if it is live or not. They offer significant protection to the user when it’s not possible to disconnect the circuit, or in situations where the user might be unsure if they’re working on a live circuit or not.

If an electrician decides to work without using an insulated tool, not only is this risking his/her own life and safety, but also the safety of those around them.

Insulated tools provide two types of protection. Firstly to the user, the extra material which covers the bare metal protects them from electric shock and arcing.  Secondly, the Insulated tools also protect the electrical equipment which is being inspected or repaired.

An electric arc, or arc discharge, is an electrical breakdown of a gas that produces a prolonged electrical discharge.


Insulated tools are designed to protect users from electric shock up to 1000V AC, and 1500V DC.

They achieve this in several different ways, depending on the tool.

Have a look at the screwdrivers below, one is insulated and the other isn’t, can you tell the differences as to why?

  1. No Bare metal, except for the tip, this is so that the user is a safe distance

  2. Colour, colour is an important one to remember, because it isn't actually a standard, meaning that someone could potentially produce a screwdriver that isn’t Insulated, but still have it in a red and yellow colour!

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