Safety at Work

811 is the new nationwide phone number to call to before you dig to locate utility lines.

However, 811 may not yet be fully functional in all areas.
If so, call 1-800-227-2600. Learn more at the
811 website

Electrocution is one of the top five causes of workplace deaths. Many workplace electrocutions involve touching a power line with long or tall equipment.

To be truly safe, make safe work habits second nature Look out for everyone. Take responsibility for noticing, reporting and correcting electrical hazards. Talk with your supervisor about hazards which have been reported but not corrected.

Many electrical injuries could be prevented if people were alert to hazards. Stay aware by keeping focused on your job and don't let emotions like anger and frustration get in the way.

It might take longer to keep your area clean and dry, or inspect cords for wear, but it's worth a few minutes to prevent shock or fire. Before using unfamiliar equipment, study instructions and get questions answered.

sPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment is your first line of defense against shock and electrical burns. Keep boots, gloves and other gear in good condition - even a pinhole will let electricity through. Wear non-conductive protection on your head, face, hands, and feet. Use insulated tools or handling equipment, such as non-conductive ropes and protective shields.

sAlways use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly.

Dirt and dampness increase the risk of shock. Keep your tools, work area, and storage space clean, and dry. When cleaning electrical equipment, be sure it's unplugged, and follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.

  • Before you start work, check electric cords for wear.
  • If our outside or in a wet location, be sure tools and extension cords are suitable for outdoor use and circuits are equipped with GFCIs.
  • Check to be sure cords are free of oil, heat, and corrosive chemicals
  • Do not yank, kink or bend cords
  • Store cords loosely coiled in a dry place.
  • Never carry a tool by its cord.
  • Be sure a tool is switched "off" before plugging or unplugging - this protects you and the next person who uses it.
  • Watch out for energized areas when reaching into equipment.
  • Shields, barriers, insulation and GFCIs protect you, so don't modify them just to get a job done faster.
  • Learn and follow your company's lockout/tagout procedures.
  • If in doubt, ask a qualified electrical worker for help.
  • Uncoil an extension cord fully before use and ensure that the amperage marked on it is adequate
  • Don't use equipment that gives off mild shocks, unusual heat, or odd smells. If in doubt, have it checked and repaired or replaced.
  • Sweep up scraps and sawdust and store flammable liquids in approved containers.
  • Don't use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dusts or fibers are present.

sElectrical / Fire Safety

Most electrical fires can be traced to overheated circuits and overloaded equipment. When abused, insulation may melt or burn, exposing live wires. Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity, or accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust, or flammable liquids.

Carry and use ladders and tools so they stay away from all power lines. Be aware of nearby power lines the next time you use a ladder, prune trees or clean a pool. Also, be careful when you install or remove an antenna, work on a roof, carry long tools or pipes, or dig in the yard. Be aware of your surroundings and be familiar with Overhead line safety.

Be Prepared: Fire Safety List

Visualize your plan of response in a fire, so you can move quickly if one happens. Take into account:

  • The nearest multipurpose fire extinguisher and how to use it.
  • The nearest emergency exit or fire escape.
  • Your company's escape plan
  • Company procedures for notifying fire fighters and other emergency personnel. (Try to extinguish a fire yourself only if you are trained and it's small or non-threatening. When in doubt, get out and take others with you.)