Electrical Safety Electrical contact occurs when a person, object, or equipment makes contact or comes in close proximity with an energized conductor or equipment that allows the passage of current. Energized refers to something that is electrically connected to a source of potential difference, or electrically charged so as to have a potential significantly different from that of earth in the vicinity. Electrical Safety Hazard Overview Solutions Regulations Learn More What are the hazards associated with electrical contact and electricity? Failure to follow basic electrical safety principles can result in equipment and property damage (e.g., due to fire), severe shock and burns, and electrocution. What can I do to protect myself? Employees should examine cords used to connect equipment for signs of wear, especially missing insulation or exposed wiring. Extension cords with three-prong plugs that are missing grounding pins should be removed from service until the plug can be replaced or a replacement cord obtained. Employees using extension cords in construction-related activities or in wet locations must ensure they have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection. Report to your supervisor any electrical problems you observe while at the workplace. What resources are available to assist employers? Safety and Health Programs The electrical safety-related work practices policy and lockout/tagout program can be downloaded and customized to fit the individual workplace. An example PPE hazard assessment is available and can be customized to fit workplace conditions. Employers are required to perform a workplace hazard analysis to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards. Training and Outreach Services The presentations on electrical safety, personal protective equipment (PPE) and lockout/tagout may be useful when dealing with electrical hazards. They can also be modified to meet the needs of the employer's worksite. In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. Further, the lockout/tagout pre-recorded webinar is available to assist with employee training. Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). A-Z Safety and Health Topics Related resources can be found on A-Z safety and health topics for lockout/tagout and personal protective equipment for more information. Consultation Services The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards. Which standards apply? OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to electrical safety in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. General Industry 29 CFR 1910.132 - personal protective equipment, general requirements 29 CFR 1910.137 - electrical protective equipment 29 CFR 1910.147 - the control of hazardous energy 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S - Electrical 29 CFR 1910.301 - introduction 29 CFR 1910.302 - electric utilization systems 29 CFR 1910.303 - general 29 CFR 1910.304 - wiring design and protection 29 CFR 1910.305 - wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use 29 CFR 1910.306 - specific purpose equipment and installations 29 CFR 1910.307 - hazardous (classified) locations 29 CFR 1910.308 - special systems 29 CFR 1910.331 - scope 29 CFR 1910.332 - training 29 CFR 1910.333 - selection and use of work practices 29 CFR 1910.334 - use of equipment 29 CFR 1910.335 - safeguards for personnel protection 29 CFR 1910.399 - definitions applicable to this subpart Maritime, Shipyard Employment 29 CFR 1915.132 - portable electric tools 29 CFR 1915.181 - electrical circuits and distribution boards Construction 29 CFR 1926 Subpart K - Electrical 29 CFR 1926.400 - introduction 29 CFR 1926.402 - applicability 29 CFR 1926.403 - general requirements 29 CFR 1926.404 - wiring design and protection 29 CFR 1926.405 - wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use 29 CFR 1926.406 - specific purpose equipment and installations 29 CFR 1926.407 - hazardous (classified) locations 29 CFR 1926.408 - special systems 29 CFR 1926.416 - general requirements 29 CFR 1926.417 - lockout and tagging of circuits 29 CFR 1926.431 - maintenance of equipment 29 CFR 1926.432 - environmental deterioration of equipment 29 CFR 1926.441 - batteries and battery charging 29 CFR 1926.449 - definitions applicable to this part Other Applicable Standards The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite. Where can I learn more? Hazard Alerts Hazard Alert for Swimming Pool Electrical Hazards NCDOL Investigates: Electrocutions provides an overview of the investigation process for fatalities resulting from electrocution. Compliance Documents Standards Notice: SN 09 - Determining Hazardous (Classified) Locations in Unventilated Pits or Depressions Below Grade in Commercial Garages applies the guidance in NEC and OSH general industry standards to unventilated pits and depressions in commercial garages to determine whether they should be classified as Class I, Division 1 or Class I, Division 2 locations. Standards Notice: SN 10 - Requirements for Portable Lamps in Vehicle Service Garages discusses the safety requirements for portable hand lamps that are used by employees servicing vehicles. Standards Notice: SN 19 - Class I and Class II, Division 2 Hazardous Locations for Spray Finishing clarifies what constitutes Class I or Class II, Division 2 hazardous locations surrounding spray finishing operations. Standards Notice: SN 49 - Ground-Fault Protection in Construction Operations presents responses to several recurring questions that have arisen since the initiation of enforcement of the ground-fault protection requirements in 29 CFR 1926.404(b) for construction operations. Industry Guides Industry Guide 48 - OSHA Construction Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, provides requirements for standards related to electrical safety in construction. Industry Guide 49 - OSHA General Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, provides requirements for standards related to electrical safety in general industry. Industry Guide 53 - OSHA Shipyard Employment Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, highlights the requirements of standards related to electrical safety in shipyard employment. Technical Assistance If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 919-707-7876.