Use of Test Equipment

Use of Test Equipment

The use of electricity in the workplace present many challenges.  Among these challenges are the hazards associated with working on or near energized electrical systems.  Testing of electrical conductors and circuit parts is a task that is done by electrical workers often, sometimes many times a day.  When establishing an electrical safe work condition, you need to verify the absence of voltage by testing the electrical conductors or circuit part using a multimeter or some kind of voltage detector.  This task will take you inside the limited approach boundary and the arc flash boundary.

This post is an excerpt from the CSA Z462 and or the NFPA 70E Workplace Electrical Safety and includes a video presentation by the Electrical Safety Authority.

From the Standard

Use of equipment/test instruments and equipment


Only qualified persons shall perform tasks such as testing, troubleshooting, voltage measuring, etc., within the limited approach boundary or arc flash boundary of energized electrical conductors or circuit parts, or where an electrical hazard exists.


Test instruments, equipment, and their accessories shall be rated for the circuits and equipment to which they will be connected.

Note: See CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 61010-1 for rating and design requirements for voltage measurement and test instruments intended for use on electrical systems operating at 1000 V and below.


Test instruments, equipment, and their accessories shall be:

  1. designed for the environment to which they will be exposed;
  2. designed for the manner in which they will be used; and
  3. where applicable, proven compliant with the appropriate Canadian Standard.

Visual inspection

Test instruments and equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes, and connectors shall be visually inspected for external defects and damage before each use. If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose a worker to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service and workers shall not use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the item safe have been conducted.

Operation verification

When test instruments are used to test for the absence of voltage on conductors or circuit parts operating at 50 V or more, the operation of the test instrument shall be verified before and after an absence of voltage test is performed.

End standard quote.

Testing of electrical conductors and circuit parts is live work and considered to be hazardous in nature.  It is extremely important that your company or organization develop a Use of Equipment Program to be instituted and followed by all electrical workers when performing testing of electrical conductors or circuit parts.

For assistance in the development of this program, contact A&E Training Services.

Watch a short video presented by the Electrical Safety Authority