Health and Safety Myths – Should all Tools be 110V?


This is an interesting case from HSE and one we had not considered in the Worlifts offices before.

The case (number 355) is based on someone carrying out sound insulation tests in houses on a construction site. He needed a 230v socket to plug in his equipment, however the construction company had a policy that all tools on site need to run off 110V maximum.

First of all, is this HSE policy, too?

The answer is no, but they do offer guidelines which suggest that 110V is preferable in a construction site for safety reasons. Why is this?

Well the first thing to understand is that it's the current that kills you, not the voltage, however the voltage has a part to play in it as it's what pushes the current through the body. So it stands to reason that the more voltage, the worse the damage will be if you happen to touch a live circuit.

This is a very simple explanation, and the Internet is full of documents that will explain the risks and what can be done about them, but as most equipment can work on 110V, it seems sensible to use it damp and dusty conditions.