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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Sample Transcript

Most materials can be neatly classified as conductors or non-conductors. Conductors are generally metals, with copper and aluminum being the most common metals used to produce wire that is used to intentionally conduct electricity. The iron, steel, and brass used to manufacture electrical equipment and hand tools are also excellent conductors. Non-conductive materials are generally compounds containing carbon and hydrogen. These include rubber, wood, and plastics. Silica-based materials like ceramics and glass are also non-conductive. One common substance, water, falls roughly between the conductor and non-conductor status. It is not a good conductor, but water, especially if it has impurities such as sea water, is a good enough conductor to create safety concerns in some situations.

Non-conductive Tools

Training Time: 18 minutes

Electricity can be dangerous to human beings. The use of non-conductive tools is one of many techniques used to reduce the chance of injury when working with electricity. Electrical conductivity is an intrinsic property of a material which quantifies the ability of a material to allow or oppose the flow of electrons produced by a voltage difference across the material. Non-conductive tools help protect an electrical worker by preventing the flow of electricity from a live source to the person holding the tool.

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In a conductive material, electrons move freely under the influence of a voltage difference.

In a conductive material, electrons move freely under the influence of a voltage difference.

PPE and non-conductive tools work together to prevent electricity from flowing into the body of a worker.

PPE and non-conductive tools work together to prevent electricity from flowing into the body of a worker.

Non-conductive tools can be made entirely of a non-conductive material, or they can be made of metal coated with an insulating layer of non-conductive material.

Non-conductive tools can be made entirely of a non-conductive material, or they can be made of metal coated with an insulating layer of non-conductive material.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the terms “conductivity” and “resistance”
  • List common conductive materials
  • List common non-conductive materials
  • Describe how electricity can harm you
  • Describe how electrical PPE protects
  • Describe what non-conductive tools are
  • Describe the benefits of non-conductive tools
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Non-conductive Tools FAQs

What is conductivity?
Conductivity is a measure of a material’s ability to allow or oppose the flow of electrons produced by a voltage difference.

What is the best precaution that can be taken when working on electrified equipment?
The best thing to do when working with electrified equipment is to make sure the source of electricity is securely removed before starting work.

Is it possible to have a metal based non-conductive tool?
If a metal tool is sufficiently covered with electrical insulation it can be classified as non-conductive.

What are the dangers of using standard conductive tools for electrical work?
The dangers of using conductive tools for electrical work include electrocution and the possibility of creating a short circuit and an arc flash.

What is the relationship between conductivity and resistivity?
Electrical resistivity refers to the same fundamental material property as conductivity, but it is expressed as the reciprocal of conductivity. High conductivity is the same as low resistivity.

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