21 Safety Rules for Working with Electrical Equipment

21 Safety Rules for Working with Electrical Equipment

A safe work environment is not always enough to control all potential electrical hazards. You must be very cautious and work safely. Safety rules help you control your and others risk of injury or death from workplace hazards.

If you are working on electrical circuits or with electrical tools and equipment, you need to use following golden safety rules:

21 Golden Safety Rules

Rule no. 1

Avoid contact with energized electrical circuits. Please don’t make fun of this rule if you already know this (and you probably already know if you are reading these lines) and remember that if something bad occurs – you probably won’t have second chance. That’s not funny.

Rule no. 2

Treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized. You never know.

Rule no. 3

Disconnect the power source before servicing or repairing electrical equipment.

The only way to be sure.

Rule no. 4

Use only tools and equipment with non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices.

Easy to check.

Rule no. 5

Never use metallic pencils or rulers, or wear rings or metal watchbands when working with electrical equipment. This rule is very easy to forget, especially when you are showing some electrical part pointing with metallic pencil.

Always be aware.

Rule no. 6

When it is necessary to handle equipment that is plugged in, be sure hands are dry and, when possible, wear nonconductive gloves, protective clothes and shoes with insulated soles.

Remeber: gloves, clothes and shoes.

Safety clothes, gloves and shoes

Safety clothes, gloves and shoes

Rule no. 7

If it is safe to do so, work with only one hand, keeping the other hand at your side or in your pocket, away from all conductive material. This precaution reduces the likelihood of accidents that result in current passing through the chest cavity.

If you ever read about current passing through human body you will know, so remember – work with one hand only.

If you don’t clue about electric current path through human body, read more in following technical articles:

Rule no. 8

Minimize the use of electrical equipment in cold rooms or other areas where condensation is likely. If equipment must be used in such areas, mount the equipment on a wall or vertical panel.

Rule no. 9

If water or a chemical is spilled onto equipment, shut off power at the main switch or circuit breaker and unplug the equipment.

Very logical. NEVER try to remove water or similar from equipment while energized. Afterall, it’s stupid to do so.

Rule no. 10

If an individual comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, do not touch the equipment, cord or person. Disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or pull out the plug using a leather belt.

Tricky situation, and you must be very calm in order not to make the situation even worse.

Like in previous rules – Always disconnect the power FIRST.

Always disconnect the power FIRST

Always disconnect the power FIRST

Rule no. 11

Equipment producing a “tingle” should be disconnected and reported promptly for repair.

Rule no. 12

Do not rely on grounding to mask a defective circuit nor attempt to correct a fault by insertion of another fuse or breaker, particularly one of larger capacity.

Rule no. 13

Drain capacitors before working near them and keep the short circuit on the terminals during the work to prevent electrical shock.

Rule no. 14

Never touch another person’s equipment or electrical control devices unless instructed to do so.

Don’t be too smart. Don’t try your luck.

Rule no. 15

Enclose all electric contacts and conductors so that no one can accidentally come into contact with them.

If applicable do it always, if not be very carefull.

Rule no. 16

Never handle electrical equipment when hands, feet, or body are wet or perspiring, or when standing on a wet floor.

Remeber: Gloves and shoes

Rule no. 17

When it is necessary to touch electrical equipment (for example, when checking for overheated motors), use the back of the hand. Thus, if accidental shock were to cause muscular contraction, you would not “freeze” to the conductor.

Rule no. 18

Do not store highly flammable liquids near electrical equipment.

Rule no. 19

Be aware that interlocks on equipment disconnect the high voltage source when a cabinet door is open but power for control circuits may remain on.

Read the single line diagram and wiring schemes – know your switchboard. 

Rule no. 20

De-energize open experimental circuits and equipment to be left unattended.

Rule no. 21

Do not wear loose clothing or ties near electrical equipment. Act like an electrical engineer, you are not on the beach.

Example of human stupidity and ignorance of basic safety

Electrical safety, come on… I guess we’ll never know did the cord extension drop into water… Hope not.

Example of stupidity

Example of stupidity


Edvard - Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and industry fascilities. Designing of LV/MV switchgears. Professional in AutoCAD programming and web-design. Present on Google+.


  1. D-MasterFunk
    Aug 19, 2014

    these is gud prosejurs thenks

  2. […] to the busbars. I am not a big fan of working any thing above 12 volts hot, for I have witnessed too many good folks get hurt doing what was initially anticipated as being a quick and simple […]

  3. k Kavia
    Jul 22, 2014

    All above safety rules are very fine. I wish Pictures / photos / video if were were associated with respective rules, it would have been very much effective, with an impact to whomsoever it is being shown especially to train the working staff and to save human life. Thanks.
    K Kavia

  4. komichi
    Jul 16, 2014

    many thankss

  5. Daniel Didam Afuwai
    Feb 25, 2014

    I like the rules they will help me as I train non-technical staff in the University system and also those that use consumer electronics. This also apply to Solar Energy users. Great work.

  6. [...] electrical equipment) the following general safety practices should be ALWAYS observed for work on electrical equipment: 1. Check before ActThe scope of work and relevant circuit should be checked before starting any [...]

  7. [...] testing work in high voltage laboratory are exposed to a greater hazard than most other employees.Safety rules MUST NOT be seen as a means of limiting our freedom, but should rather be looked upon as valuable [...]

  8. electropower
    Dec 16, 2012

    At times accidents do not occur due to negligence but unintentional short cuts in the process of rushing to get unplanned work finished.
    Short cuts savings are short lived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. arifkunnath
    Dec 15, 2012

    Thanks Mr Edvard for the life saving tips on electricity

    • Edvard
      Dec 15, 2012

      You’re welcome Arifkunnath!

      Many of above tips are so common that probability to be forgotten is very high ;)

      • corby
        Aug 06, 2013

        Thanks Mr.Edward

  10. brunolda
    Dec 12, 2012

    Nice article. Safety is never too much.


    • Edvard
      Dec 12, 2012

      Thank you Brunolda. There are 100+ other safety rules to be added, but I tried to write up just the important ones.

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