Operating a Switch or Breaker Handle

I am unable to get a signal on my computer. I am using my TREO.Question:What is the safest way to open or disconnect a main switch, fused type or CB?I suggested using the left hand while standing to the right to operate the devce to turn it off.I will search Google but would appreciate seeing other opinions.

Common industrial practice is to stand to either side of the device being operated, facing away from it and operating with either hand as convenient. Depending on the device being operated (fault current available, etc.) , Arc Flash requirements may dictate special clothing and other Personal Protective Equipment.

For houshold level stuff, you just want to position yourself wherever will minimize your exposure if a fault should occur.

I thought it was extremely poor practice for a H-I to throw a main breaker. I have no idea why one should.

You are correct. An HI would never throw a main.

Joe is not a Home Inspector, he’s a master Electrician.

Just wanted an opinion. thanks:

Read this

Last two paragraphs:

Lastly and possibly most importantly, the HVAC technician was standing in front of the motor controller enclosure as he operated the control switch.

The failure of the control switch was an abnormal event that could have happened at any time. However, equipment design that allows placement of a control switch on the cover of a motor controller enclosure normally places the operator directly in front of the enclosure. In this incident, had the control switch been located on a separate control panel away from the contactor enclosure, the technician most probably would not have been injured.

Or, if he had been able to stand well off to one side of the controller, his injuries might have been minimized.

Bill, the building maintenance worker who had attempted to switch the circuit breaker to the OFF position, was also standing in front of the panelboard as he operated the circuit breaker. Standing directly in front of the device placed him in jeopardy and he received burn injuries when the explosion occurred. Proper work practices must be used all the time so that it becomes a habit. Most of us stand and look at the switching device as it operates. However, the building maintenance worker and the HVAC technician probably will never operate a switch or circuit breaker again while standing directly in front of it.

The next time you operate an electrical device, think about this accident and don’t let it happen to you.


My wife would say leather glove, safety glasses and looking away … if you can’t get the sparky who wired it to turn it on. A few bolted faults on range circuits will make you agree with that. She does have some gloves with burn marks.

Thanks Greg, here are a few videos with information about arc flash hazards

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