At its most basic, a multimeter measures the voltage, current and resistance in an electric circuit. But used as prescribed in our Be Safe safety training, the hand-held device can do much more: It can save lives.

And that’s just what happened last year. An Ecolab route sales manager was upgrading an Institutional customer’s dispensing system — a process that requires turning off the electricity to the dispensers to avoid any risk of electric shock.

Despite assurances from the customer that the appropriate circuit breaker had been switched off, the route sales manager remembered his training and used his multimeter to double check the circuit. It was live. The breaker had been mislabeled. If the route sales manager hadn’t checked, the shock could have been fatal.

Clearly, the multimeter helped protect the route sales manager. But his training also was critical.

“It’s not enough to simply talk about safety protocols,” said Troy Sharratt, director of Institutional Safety, Health & Environment in North America. “Our training embeds safety skills in the minds of our associates through repetition. They use these skills over and over as they go through our program. Our approach helps ensure that we send experienced professionals to our customers’ sites. But more importantly, it helps get our associates home safely each and every night.”