Touch Potential

If any conductive object becomes electrically energized, it can create touch potential, which is the voltage difference between any energized object and the feet of a person in contact with it while standing on the ground. Examples of this danger include downed power lines and short circuits in wires or appliances.

If you touch an energized object, your body will become the path for electricity to flow to the ground. The greater the voltage difference, the higher the touch potential and the more electricity will flow through your body.

Electricity always flows from high- to low-voltage areas until the voltage is equalized. Two areas of differing voltage have the potential for electricity to flow between them. Electrical potential refers to the difference in voltage between the two areas. If there is no voltage difference, there is no electrical potential and electricity will not flow.