That meter is sealed so that only they open it. Call them
first and ask. They don't like broken seals often associates
with electricity theft.
That ground rod must make an earthing connection to breaker
box - not meter box. Some utilities are quite explicit that
no earthing connection is permitted to meter box.
Might vary from utility to utility, but around here the inspectors require a
earth ground at the meter box. I just helped a friend install a service about
3 weeks ago and we had to drive a ground rod at the meter for the inspector to
approve the electrical hookup.
Since you cannot turn the neutral off without disconnecting the wiring
somewhere at its source, any electrical work will involve touching the
neutral. If there are no major problems with the wiring, and it is all
working properly, then it is safe.
I've tingled myself on on a couple times.
First one was when I pulled a neutral off the bar to move it, and didn't
shut off the breaker.
Other time was when the neutral wasn't making good contact at the connector
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