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Home / Technical Articles / 7 Golden Safety Rules for Working In HV Laboratory

Safe working conditions

Employees performing operations and testing work in high voltage laboratory are exposed to a greater hazard than most other employees. Safety rules MUST NOT be seen as a means of limiting our freedom, but should rather be looked upon as valuable advice to ensure safe working conditions.

7 Golden Safety Rules for Working In HV Laboratory
7 Golden Safety Rules for Working In HV Laboratory (on photo: High-Voltage Lab, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands)

7 golden rules to remember ALWAYS

Just to mention that there are many other safety rules to be followed. These are just the basics and I think some of the most important.

If you have some rule(s) to add, please leave the comment below ;)

Rule no. 1

Sufficient clearances must be provided to prevent unplanned flashovers.

Rule no. 2

Suitable barriers must be provided.

Rule no. 3

A suitable earth plane must be provided as safety earth and reference point for measurements. It is not advisable to try to separate earths. In measuring circuits, such as voltage dividers and the Schering bridge, a bolted connection to earth is required.

If this connection is broken, the full voltage appears across the break. Protective spark gaps and overvoltage limiting devices can be used.

Rule no. 4

Any object in the laboratory should be either well connected to earth potential or at high voltage. “Floating” objects cause problems.

Rule no. 5

Suitable interlocks that switch off the power on opening must be provided on doors and gates leading to live areas.

Rule no. 6

A suitable earth stick must be provided to earth any piece of equipment before touching. The rule is not to become part of a circuit. Special care should be taken with circuits having capacitors – especially with DC.

Rule no. 7

A person must NEVER work alone in a high voltage laboratory: double check and cross-check.

Engineering High Voltage Lab – University of Leicester (VIDEO)

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.


  1. Oliver Schulthess
    Apr 02, 2019

    Take allways enough distance to the testing devices….experiences.

  2. priya patil
    Sep 22, 2017

    do not wear synthetic clothes. wear cotton apron, leather/rubber shoes.

    unplug the equipment after use. also, discharge it using earth rod(discharge rod)

  3. Tim Trexler
    Jan 31, 2015

    Test Hot, Test Dead, if it’s not Grounded, it’s not Dead!
    Safety First, Safety Always!

  4. vaibhav
    Nov 13, 2014

    lab should be free from dust,humidity,draught.

  5. wc_foronda
    Nov 18, 2013

    Only Competent Authorized Personnels are allowed to work on any HV Testing/Operation.

  6. jayagopi
    Jan 10, 2013

    Keep your left hand in your overall or overcoat’s pocket, while right hand is engaged in testing and vice versa for left hand users. Objective is to mitigate leakage current flow through your heart.

  7. Antonio Melgarejo
    Dec 30, 2012

    Always we must work with a coworker, never work alone, and if its possible that the coworker have a good professional feeling with you.
    Home`s problems aren´t a good help for finish a good job.
    We can park the troubles in your minds and imagine mentally the energized bars, the magnetic fields, the air ionized zones.
    If is possible, working with one hand and the hand not used in the backs to prevent discharges to ground and participate in the circuit.
    Learn the position of the main breaker, and the fire extinguisher, and prepare take down it for ready to fire

    • Edvard
      Jan 02, 2013

      Agree with you Antonio. There are so many potential distractions that can lead you to the deadly hazard in laboratory.

  8. Kichu Udayan
    Dec 27, 2012

    The supporting Equipments (Tools and accessories) used for testing should be Kept in proper places . They should be placed in such a way that ,Equipments should not block Exit way during any Hazards

  9. Thomas J. Zazulak
    Dec 26, 2012

    All capacitors stored in a high voltage Lab must be shorted and case grounded at all times. This applies to to both AC and DC high voltage testing. This also applies to high voltage impulse testing.

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