Weekly Safety Meeting – Electrical Safety – Test Before You Touch

Electricity, even at very low voltages, can be hazardous. Under the right conditions, a 30-volt circuit can carry enough current to cause severe injury or death. An electrical shock occurs when your body comes in contact with a live electrical source, such as open electrical boxes, bare wires, or from equipment that is not properly grounded.

Electrical safety in our modern and technological environment is extremely important. Everywhere you go, machines, computers, tools, household items, everything runs on electricity.

If electricity is properly controlled, it’s very useful, but if you don’t treat it with respect and follow the rules, it’s very dangerous.

Electrical shock injuries are less severe when the current does not pass through or near nerve centers or vital organs.

In the majority of electrical injuries in industry, the electrical current flows from hands to feet. Since such a path involves both the heart and the lungs, these injuries are usually very serious.

Electrical Safety:

  • Maintain at least a 10-foot distance from 50kV overhead powerlines, add more distance as the voltage increases. Also avoid the poles themselves to avoid bringing lines to the ground.
  • Inspect all cords for damaged insulation or missing ground prongs. If either of these conditions exist get them fixed by a professional or remove them from use.
  • Do not operate electrical equipment in wet conditions. Also avoid having electrical components in a wet environment unless they are protected.
  • Secure all electrical boxes and panels. Ensure components in and around these panels are in good working condition and not missing.

Test Before you Touch:

Simply shutting off the power is not enough. Hazardous conditions can still exist.

All it takes is one mistake, and the results can be lethal. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, every year thousands of workers are injured or killed by circuits they thought were safely turned off.

Treat all circuits as live until they are tested!

Skilled employees, trained in electrical safety procedures, should make sure they understand and follow safety precautions.

Those not trained to recognize and avoid electrical hazards, or not under the supervision of those qualified in electrical safety procedures, should avoid contact with electrical equipment and systems.

  • Understand the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and the hazards involved.
  • Identify all possible energy sources that could pose on-the-job hazards.
  • Know safety requirements and follow them.
  • Select the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Remember, PPE must be worn until the electrical system is in a safe condition.
  • Complete a detailed job plan and communicate it to all coworkers.
  • Before working on or around electrical systems or equipment, identify the load circuits and disconnect.
  • Use lock-out/tag-out procedures.
  • Verify that the equipment or system has been de-energized by testing.
  • Make sure your test equipment is working, both before and after you use it.
  • If at any time the job becomes more hazardous than anticipated, stop and revise the plans.


There are many different electrical hazards in any one workplace. It is important to understand electrical safety and respect the dangers electricity poses.

Never work on energized equipment. Always follow proper lock and tag out procedures before performing electrical work.

Test the power after locking and tagging out to ensure there is no power being fed to what you are working on.

Above all, never assume that the equipment or system is de-energized.

Remember to always…TEST BEFORE YOU TOUCH!!

Download flyer:  SMOTW_636_Electrical Safety - Test Before You Touch

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_636_Electrical Safety - Test Before You Touch_esp

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