Electrical Safety Practices on the Job

As a part of our Construction Safety Talk Series, we discussed how electrical hazards expose workers to burns, electrocution, shock, arc flash / arc blast, fire, or explosions. Accidents involving electricity can be fatal. To prevent electrical incidents, every time you enter a job site remember to:

Identify Hazards – Do a job site analysis when entering the work zone.
Minimize Hazards – De-energize unused equipment, cover exposed live parts, use proper PPE and tools.
Anticipate Problems – If it can go wrong, it might. Be prepared for all worst case scenarios.
Have Training – Make sure that you and everyone you are working with is qualified and has proper training.

Responsibility For Safe Practices Around Electricity Include:

For Contractors

  • Comply with OSHA regulations.
  • Train employees on electrical safety.
  • Contact utility companies in advance to de-energize or insulate overhead power lines.
  • If asked to work live, verify with owner/client that de-energizing live electrical circuits/parts is not practical or would create a greater hazard.
  • Only allow work on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system with specific procedures.

For Electrical Workers

  • De-energize and lock out or tag out electrical circuits/parts you will be working on or near.
  • Work only on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system with specific procedures and if you are qualified to do so.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and use proper tools when de-energizing or testing live electrical circuits/parts or otherwise working live.

For All Construction Workers

  • Get electrical safety training.
  • Ensure machinery and power tools are properly grounded or double insulated.
  • Check all extension and power cords for wear and tear before use.
  • Disconnect the plug on any power tool or machinery before inspecting or repairing.
  • Keep at least 10 feet from live overhead power lines.
  • Keep metal objects away from live electrical circuits/parts.