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Preventing Electrical Shocks from Tools and Equipment

Electrical shock occurs when your body mistakenly becomes part of an electric circuit, acting as a conductor of electricity. It’s crucial that you use the following tips when working with power tools to prevent electric shock:

  • Inspect your tools—make sure they are free of improper or poorly manufactured connections to terminals, broken or defective plugs, loose or broken switches, and sparking brushes.
  • If you suspect that your tools have any defects, do NOT use them.
  • Do not attempt to repair or adjust portable electric tools while they are plugged in.
  • Do not use electric tools in the presence of flammable gases or vapors.
  • Always use the required PPE for the job.
  • Ensure that your tool is equipped with a three-prong plug.
  • Never work with electric tools in wet or damp conditions.
  • Ensure that extension cords are in good condition and are the proper size for handling the tool’s electrical current capacity.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCIs).

Understanding how to safely operate portable electric tools means knowing how to protect yourself from electric shock and life-threatening injuries. Before you begin working, be sure to inspect your drills, saws, and sanders, as well as your surrounding work station for any dangerous obstacles, to prevent the occurrence of an electrical accident.