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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Multimeter Safety Tips

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All mines, surface and underground
Category: Electrical

A multimeter (Volt/Ohm/Amp meter) is as common to an electrician as a MP3 player is to a teenager. Mine electricians always seem to be carrying one or have one hanging on their belt. Troubleshooting and safety checks would be difficult without them. Jerome Betz, a certified electrician and instructor, sent a couple of tips concerning these useful tools.

Multimeter Safety Tips 1. Batteries die quickly. Cold temperatures, hot change rooms and leaving the meter on for frequent or extended use quickly drains batteries. Some meters are equipped with low battery indicators, but not all. To ensure that these meters have fresh batteries, it is recommended that batteries be replaced every 3 months.

2. Mining environments are hard on equipment. These environments could adversely affect the operation of meters and tools. Before testing a live circuit, you should always inspect the probes and leads to insure the insulation is not damaged and to ensure that the leads are plugged in the proper place.

MSHA agrees that following this advice may prevent a useless meter or more importantly, a severe shock hazard.

MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to
Jerome Betz,
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.

If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can e-mail it to
If your tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.

Issued: 12/17/2009
Tag # AP2009-97451