Workplace Electrical Safety Tips
· Plan every job and think about what could go wrong.
· Use the right tools for the job.
· Use procedures, drawings, and other documents to do the job.
· Isolate equipment from energy sources.
· Identify the electric shock and arc flash, as well as other hazards that may be
· Minimize hazards by guarding or establishing approach limitations.
· Test every circuit and every conductor every time before you touch it.
· Use personal protective equipment (PPE) as a last line of defense in case
something goes wrong.
· Be sure you are properly trained and qualified for the job.
· Work on electrical equipment and conductors only when deenergized, unless
procedures and safeguards have been established to ensure zero exposure for
the worker and other people in the area.
· Lockout/tagout and ground (where appropriate) before working on equipment.
· Treat deenergized electrical equipment and conductors as energized until
lockout/tagout, test, and ground procedures (where appropriate) are
· Wear protective clothing and equipment and use insulated tools in areas where
there are possible electrical hazards.
· Deenergize and visibly guard (where possible) whenever contact with
uninsulated overhead power lines is possible.
· Check and double check safety regulations when a ladder or parts of any vehicle
or mechanical equipment structure will be elevated near energized overhead
power lines. Call your local electric utility for assistance. People standing on the
ground may be particularly vulnerable to possible injury.
Cords, Equipment, and Tool Grounding
· Make sure all equipment and extension cords bear the mark of an independent
testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, ETL or MET Labs.
· Protect flexible cords and cables from physical damage. Check cords for cut,
broken, or cracked insulation.
· Keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension on electrical terminals.
· Make sure the insulating qualities of a splice are equal to or greater than the
· Extension cords are for temporary use. Install permanent wiring when use is no
· Verify that all three-wire tools and equipment are grounded.
· Water, electrical equipment, and power cords do not mix! Use GFCI protection in
wet or damp environments.
· Ground exposed parts of fixed equipment that could be energized.
· Use non-conductive tools whenever possible.
· Always double check the operation of your voltage testers by testing a live circuit.
· Verify location of all buried or embedded electrical circuits before digging or
· Determine the reason that a fuse operated or circuit breaker tripped before
replacing or resetting.
· Know where your overcurrent devices are (i.e. circuit breakers and fuses) so they
can be easily and quickly reached in case of emergency.
· When replacing lamps and bulbs, verify that the replacement matches fixture
Electrical Safety Documents
Many organizations are committed to developing standards, regulations and guidelines
that include electrical safety requirements. Employees in the workplace should
familiarize themselves with these documents and the organizations responsible for their
development. Some of these standards, guidelines and regulations are:
· OSHA 29 CFR 1910 , General Industry
o Subpart - Electrical Standard
o Subpart R - Utility Industry
§ 1910.268 Telecommunications
§ 1910.269 Power Generation, Transmissions and Distribution
o Subpart J, 1910.147 - Lockout/Tagout
§ Subpart K - Electrical Standard
§ Subpart V - Power Transmission and Distribution
o OSHA 29 CFR 1926, Construction Industry
· National Consensus Standards for Design and Installation
o Standards on electrical products and systems, such as the National
Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and ASTM
o Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) "Color Book Series"
- design of electrical power systems for industrial and commercial facilities
o National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, National Electrical Code
(NEC)® - provides electrical safety requirements for wiring methods used
in the workplace
o National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Safety
Code (NESC)- address safety criteria for live electric supply and
communication lines and equiptment for employees in the workplace.
o National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 79, Electrical Standard for
Industrial Machinery - addresses fire safety and important electrical
considerations specific to industry machinery and manufacturing systems
not covered in the NEC®.
o ANSI Z 244 - Lockout/Tagout, Standard address the minimum
requirements for lockout/target procedures of energy control sources that
could cause injury or harm to employee.
o National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Electrical
Installation Standards (NEIS™)
· Safe Work Practices
o National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Electrical Safety
Requirements for Employee Workplaces
o National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code - for
protecting lives and property from fire.
o Department of Energy (DOE) - Electrical Safety Guidelines
o Department of Energy (DOE) - Model Electrical Safety Program