What is Step and Touch Potential?
While performing energized or de-energized line work, there are many opportunities for a line worker to encounter differences in electrical potential. Opportunities could include working near bucket trucks, underground gear, overhead switches, or in substations. When a difference in potential occurs across a worker’s body, current begins to flow. This current flow can be very hazardous as it only takes 50 to 60mA to become possibly lethal. These differences in potential can be categorized as step and touch potential. Step potential is defined as a difference in electrical potential between a worker’s feet and touch potential can be between a worker’s hands or hands and feet.