Electrical Safety - Workplace Safety
'Workplace' covers a broad spectrum of working environments. Office
buildings, industrial plants, construction sites, offshore oil platforms, underground mines, and retail
businesses are a few examples that illustrate the span of what can be considered the workplace.
While the working
environments differ, they all depend on electricity and electrical systems for energy, control, communications
and data for virtually every aspect of operations.
Electrical accidents can and do happen in all workplace
environments, although the frequency or severity may vary.
The following list of safety
reminders is a brief compilation of generally accepted practices and should be adapted or modified to address
the unique aspects of your working environment, your company policies, and local and/or state and Federal
The intent of this list is
to stimulate your thinking on what are the important electrical safety considerations for the people in your
Principals - When planning and
performing work on electrical systems and equipment, keep these principles in mind:
n Plan every job
n Think about what could go wrong
n Use the right tools for the job
n Use procedures, drawings and other documents as tools to do
n Isolate the equipment from energy sources
n Identify the electrical shock and arc flash, as well as other
hazards that may be present
n Minimize the hazard by guarding or establishing approach
n Test every circuit and every conductor, every time before you
n Use personal protective equipment (PPE) as a last line of
defense in case something goes wrong
n Be sure you are properly trained and qualified for the
Working On or Near Energized Equipment
n Treat de-energized electrical equipment and conductors as
energized until lockout/tagout, test and ground (where appropriate) procedures are implemented.
n Work electrical equipment and conductors de-energized unless
your employer can demonstrate that de-energizing introduces additional or increased hazards or is unfeasible due to
equipment design or operational limitations.
n Lockout/tagout, and ground (where appropriate) before working
n Wear protective clothing and equipment, and use insulated
tools in areas where there are possible electrical hazards.
n De-energize and visibly guard (where possible) whenever
contact with uninsulated overhead power lines is possible.
n Check and double check the 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
Cord Powered Equipment and Tools, Cords, and Temporary
n Protect flexible cords and cables from physical damage.
Keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension
on electrical terminals.
n Check cords for cut, broken or cracked insulation.
n Make sure the insulating qualities of a splice are equal to
or greater than the original cord.
n Extension cords are for temporary use. Install permanent
wiring when use is not temporary.
Equipment and Tool Grounding
n Verify that all tools and equipment are grounded.
n Water, electrical equipment, and power cords do not mix! Use
GFCI protection in wet or damp environments.
n Ground exposed parts of fixed equipment that could become
n Verify location of all buried or embedded electrical circuits
before digging or cutting.
n Determine the reason that a fuse operated or circuit breaker
tripped before replacing or resetting.
n Know where your over current devices are (i.e. circuit
breakers and fuses) so they can be easily and quickly reached in case of emergency.
n When replacing lamps and bulbs, verify replacement matches
n Adapt this list of reminders to fit your working environment!
Establish a written electrical safety program for
implementing the above.