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Safe Operating Procedures for Electrical Work
Purpose
To define the safe operating procedures in a manner that informs and instructs employees of
[Employer/Organization Name] of the key health and safety hazards and controls to remember
when performing electrical work.
Hazards
The following hazards/incidents may occur when performing electrical work:
Fire or explosion
Burns
Electric shock
Equipment or property damage
Protective Equipment
Shock resistant safety footwear
Gloves
Grounding and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
Mats and shields
Qualifications for Completing Electrical Work
No employee will connect, maintain, or modify electrical equipment, components or installations
unless they have satisfied one the following criteria:
Employee is an electrician certified under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act,
or
Employee is otherwise permitted to connect, maintain or modify electrical equipment or
installations.
Safe Operating Procedure
All electrical work, including repairs and maintenance to electrical components, will only be
performed by competent and qualified employees. They must meet the qualification criteria as
listed above.
Any contractors hired to complete any electrical work on behalf of [Employer/Organization
Name] will be pre-qualified, to ensure they meet the qualification criteria as listed above.
Consider all electrical wires and equipment live until they are tested and proven otherwise.
Any piece of equipment with defective electrical components (cord, prongs, operator controls,
etc) will be immediately removed from service and labeled as such. Notify the supervisor
immediately.
Before performing any repairs or maintenance on electrical equipment, apply proper lockout
tagout procedures, or confirm they have been applied by an authorized person. If you are unsure
or cannot confirm, do not begin the repair/maintenance and notify the supervisor immediately.
Before starting work, personal protective equipment must be provided and worn, to protect
against electrical shock and/or arc flash. The protective equipment and devices will be adequate
to protect the employee from electrical shock and burns.
Protective measures will include mats, shields, personal protective equipment (PPE), or other
protective devices.
Water is a conductor, never put water on fires in live electrical equipment or wiring.
An electrical fire in a confined space can rapidly deplete oxygen and may release toxic fumes. If
possible, switch off power.
Use a Class C or ABC fire extinguisher on electrical fires.
Wiring or equipment involved in a fire must be inspected by the electrical utility inspector before
being reactivated.
Every employee who may be required to use a fire extinguisher must be trained in its use.
Contact utility to locate all underground and overhead services before starting work.
When operating backhoes, cranes, and similar equipment near power lines, use a signaler to warn
the operator when any part of the equipment or load approaches the minimum allowable
distances.
Before moving ladders, rolling scaffolds, or elevating work platforms, always check for
overhead wires.
Replace missing or burned-out bulbs to maintain required levels of illumination in stairwells,
basements, halls, and other areas.
Never cut off, bend back or cheat the ground pin on three prong plugs.
Make sure that plugs and cords are in good condition.
Make sure that extension cords are the right gauge for the job to prevent overheating, voltage
drops, and tool burnout.
Do not use extension or tool cords that are defective or have been improperly repaired.
Protect cords from traffic. Protect bulbs with cages.
Use only tools that are grounded or double insulated. Make sure the casings of double-insulated
tools are not cracked or broken.
Always use a GFCI with any portable electric tool operated outdoors or in wet locations.
When working in close proximity to any live electrical installation or equipment, do not use any
tools or equipment capable of conducting electricity. This could endanger the safety of any
employee around that electrical installation or equipment, as they might make contact with a live
conductor.
Use hand tools with insulated handles and grips.
Do not hold water pipes or other grounded conductors when using electric tools. A defect in tool
or cord will make you part of the circuit, causing shock, a fall off your ladder or electrocution.
Before drilling, hammering, or cutting with hand or power tools, check for electrical wires or
equipment behind walls, above ceilings and under floors.
Keep cords out of the path of electric tools and equipment.
Before making adjustments or changing attachments, disconnect electric tools from the power
source.
Never use metal or metal-reinforced ladders near live wires or equipment. Use wooden or
fiberglass ladders.
Additional Resources
Lockout Tagout Procedures
Ministry of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines for Farming Operations in
Ontario
Document Management
Effective Date:
Revision Date: