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AEX 192.1.20

Agricultural Safety Program, 590 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, OH 43210

Grounding Electricity

Objective: Work safely around electricity on the job.

How to Use This Module

Working with electricity can be dangerous. This danger comes from a combination of things — voltage, amperage, resistance to the flow of the current, and duration of contact. For this module:

  • Read the information below on electricity, hazards, and safety guidelines.

  • Ask your supervisor to demonstrate proper and improper grounding.

  • Review the illustration of 120-volt and 240-volt outlets.

  • While your supervisor observes, inspect and test power tools for proper grounding.

  • Ask your supervisor to demonstrate a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

  • Review the important points.

  • Take the True/False quiz to check your learning.


Electricity always follows one or more paths of least resistance. Electricity follows a nonstop path. If the body becomes part of a path, electricity will pass through it. Dry hands and feet offer more resistance to elec- trical current than wet hands or feet. But the current can be lethal in either case — especially if the electricity passes through vital organs like the heart or lungs.

Grounding electricity means creating an easy path for the current — one that doesn’t include your body.

For Your Safety

  • Have only a qualified electrician perform electrical installations or repairs.

  • Moisture and electricity must never mix.

  • Unplug tools immediately after use.

  • Do not use water to put out an electrical fire.

  • Electrical fires require a type C fire extinguisher.

The diagram on the following page shows a 120-volt (120V) outlet and one type of 240-volt (240V) outlet.

Electrical power tools should have a true ground. Otherwise, they should be double-insulated. For example, a drill has a third wire incorporated in the design. This third wire acts as the ground wire. This means the cur-

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