Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

June 1st, 2017

Some people have the idea that you must be working around a high voltage line to be at risk for electrocution. That’s not true. Electrical hazards are a danger in just about any workplace.


Electric shock can cause a range of painful and disabling injuries. These include brain damage, burns, and loss of limbs, blindness, and broken bones from falls, violent injuries from unexpected start-up of electrically powered equipment, and many other injuries.


Here are some helpful tips for avoiding electrical hazards on the job:

  • Use electrical equipment only if you are authorized and qualified to do so. Never make unauthorized electrical repairs – they have led to many fatal accidents.
  • Do not use electrical equipment which is improperly installed or repaired, or damaged in any way. Report these circumstances to your supervisor immediately.
  • Use tools and equipment the way they were intended. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how to use and maintain tools and other electrical devices.
  • Do not use makeshift wiring, and report any that you observe. Don’t use extension cords or cables as permanent wiring – they are intended for temporary use only.
  • Take care to prevent damage to cords and cables. They should not be draped across traffic areas where they can be damaged by feet or hand


Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) whenever you use power tools. Also use a GFCI for protection when you use electrical equipment outdoors or in damp areas such as basements.