Safety Tip of the Week – Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters

A ground fault occurs when the electrical current does not complete its circuit and unintentionally flows to the ground. Ground faults can cause fires and are dangerous when they flow through a person to the ground.

The GFCI, as it is commonly called, is simply a fast-acting circuit breaker that will cut off the electricity to a power tool within 1/40th of a second if it detects there is a fault with the grounding system.

GFCI General Information:

  • It protects you against electric shock.
  • It’s a fast-acting circuit breaker.
  • GFCIs continuously monitor amount of current going to a tool and compares it to the amount of current returning along the electrical path.
  • If the difference is more than 5 milliamps, the GFCI will trip.
  • When a GFCI trips, it shuts off the electricity in 1/40 of a second.
  • The GFCI will not protect you from line to line contact hazards (i.e., holding two “hot” wires or a hot and a neutral wire in each hand).


Visual inspection of the following equipment is required:

  • Cord sets;
  • Cap, plug and receptacle of cord sets; and • Equipment connected by cord and plug.
    Protect yourself from electric shock…use safety equipment!!


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