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Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is meant by electrical contact?

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.

What is meant by energized?

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.

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.

Solutions

Solutions

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?

The electrical safety-related work practices policy and electrical safety presentations can be downloaded and customized to fit the individual workplace. Also, this example lockout/tagout program and lockout/tagout presentation may be useful when dealing with electrical hazards.

Related resources can be found on A-Z safety and health topics for lockout/tagout and personal protective equipment for more information. The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). 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.

Regulations

Regulations

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for electrical safety in North Carolina:

Other relevant standards include:

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

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 ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.