Electrical safety


Do's and don'ts checklist

Electric shocks kill and injure many workers every year. These incidents are generally caused by unsafe conditions or unsafe acts. There are many rules to follow to help prevent tragedies.


  • Overload outlets or circuits.
  • Run cords on the floor.
  • Use temporary wiring solutions.
  • Put anything into an electrical outlet but a plug.
  • Place cords near heat or water sources.
  • Touch anything electric with wet hands.
  • Leave machinery running unattended.
  • Let cords get twisted or tangled.
  • Get closer than 10 feet from a power line if you are unqualified.
  • Reach into a space with may contain energized equipment.
  • Wear metal jewelry when working with electrical appliances.
  • Use a power tool that smokes, sparks, smells or shocks.


  • Check wiring to make sure it’s properly insulated.
  • Check wiring to make sure it’s the right choice for the job, for example: labeled for indoor/outdoor use.
  • Check that electrical connections are tight.
  • Match plugs and outlets, for example: three-pronged plugs go in three-pronged outlets only.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s instruction for electrical equipment.
  • Leave work on energized equipment to qualified workers.
  • Follow warnings to stay away from circuits and locked-out equipment.
  • Wear personal protective equipment and clothing.
  • Keep machines and tools lubricated.
  • Keep the work area clean.
  • Properly dispose of oil rags, paper, sawdust or anything else that could burn.
  • Inspect electrical tools before each use.
  • Report any electrical tool, equipment or wire problems immediately.


  • Don’t overload outlets.
  • Don’t run cords on the floor.
  • Don’t touch anything electric with wet hands.
  • Don’t get closer than 10 feet from a power line.
  • Do check wiring to make sure it’s properly insulated.
  • Do wear personal protective equipment.
  • Do dispose of oil rags, paper and sawdust properly.
  • Do report any tool, equipment or wire problems immediately.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at losscontrol@markel.com or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.