Electrical Safety at Work: Safety Tips for Electricians

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Electrical Safety at Work

Electrical Safety at Work

Electrical safety at work is especially important for professionals working in electrical areas or working on electrical equipment. Much too often electrocutions (death by electric shock), burns, or electrical shock (direct contact with electrical current) happens because the electrical safety at work standards weren’t adhered to.

The governance over electrical safety in the United States rests with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces; U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Canada, workplace electrical safety is mandated by CSA Z462 Workplace Electrical Safety and administered by provincial ministries of labor.


Electrical safety at work involves the following:

  • Underground Temporary Electrical Components
  • Understanding Personal Approach Boundaries
  • Developing a Shock Hazard Analysis
  • Developing a Flash Hazard Analysis
  • Working On or Near Exposed Energized Electrical Parts within the Limited Approach Boundary
  • Working On or Near Exposed Energized Electrical Parts within the Restricted and Prohibited
  • Developing an Energized Electrical Work Permit
  • Testing and Troubleshooting on Live Energized Parts
  • De-energizing Live Parts
  • Complying with Lockout Tagout Regulations
  • Understanding How to Apply Arc Flash Clothing
  • Nonconductive Equipment Protection
  • Electrical Testing
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Protection and Testing


Electrical Safety at Work – Working on Energized Electrical Equipment
Only verification or troubleshooting should be performed when absolute necessary while electrical circuits are energized. Also, heat and water increase the risk of electrical accidents, so live work should be avoided whenever these two elements are present.

It’s also a smart option to only have electricians who have been properly trained on certain equipment to be in specific work zones and ALWAYS use lockout tagout procedures to protect workers.

Certain electrical safety at work procedures are in place for work under 750 volts. These procedures usually come into effect when emergency repair work must be performed when the equipment is energized. All procedures should be followed carefully to prevent electrical accidents.

A pre-prepared and pre-approved work plan by an electrical engineer should be in place before live work is done on equipment above 750 volts.


Working On De-Energized Electrical Equipment
Ideally, Electrical Safety at Work means that electrical work should be performed when electrical equipment is de-energized and any personnel should have the adequate training needed to carry out the task safely. Before work commences and to maintain electrical safety at work, the electrician must decide what his working zone will be and where the protection zone will be located. Then, before installing the required grounding device, he should ensure isolation by following specific isolation procedures.

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