Keeping Your Employees Safe around Electricity

While all businesses need electricity to get the job done, it can also pose a significant workplace safety issue if your workers are careless. To reduce the chances of an injury or death, it’s imperative that you train your workers in electrical safety. While we’ve all gotten an electrical shock at some point, it should not be taken lightly as even a small amount of electrical current can be fatal. Here are some of the main areas you should focus training on:

Metal and water

Risk is greatest around metal objects and in damp conditions.

  • Train workers to ensure that electric equipment, switch enclosures and conduit systems are properly grounded and that all external or damp operations are wired for wet conditions prior to operations.
  • They should wear the correct gear, such as rubber gloves and boots, while working in damp environments.
  • You should provide rubber mats, insulated tools and rubber sheets to protect them from exposed metal.

Defective equipment

Defective equipment can result in shock or electrocution.

  • Workers and supervisors should inspect electrical equipment, outlets, plugs and cords before each use.
  • If a worker finds faulty or damaged equipment, they should alert a supervisor who should remove, tag and have the item repaired.

Cord management

  • Make sure outlets and cords are of adequate size and length to prevent an electrical overload.
  • Keep cords out of the way to avoid tripping hazards.


Follow lockout/blockout procedures.

  • Workers should stop using a tool if they feel even a small shock.
  • They should turn off the power if they smell a hot or burning substance, or if they notice smoke, sparks or flickering lights.

Watch for power supply lines

Contact with overhead power supply lines is one of the most common causes of electrocution for construction workers. This usually happens when workers are using portable elevators, cranes, pipes or hoisting machinery that puts them in close proximity to power lines.

  • Workers using high-clearance devices should continually scan for danger and take precautions to avoid contact with overhead lines.
  • If an overhead line breaks, keep away from the wire and everything it touches. Call the power company to shut off the electricity.
  • Only qualified electricians should repair electrical equipment or work on energized lines.

One last thing…

Besides training your workers in electrical safety, don’t forget to train them in emergency response procedures and CPR, too.