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Home / Technical Articles / 21 Safety Rules for Working with Electrical Equipment

Be cautious and work safely

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.

21 Safety Rules for Working with Electrical Equipment
21 Safety Rules for Working with Electrical Equipment

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

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.


  1. Nda
    Nov 02, 2021

    Please can i get a comparison of IEEE standard to those of IEC

  2. Habtamu Tadesse
    Oct 01, 2021

    can you tell me safety material

  3. thesafetymaster
    Aug 04, 2021

    safety is an important factor in every industry. thank you for sharing this wonder-full article it helps me a lot to understand

  4. Zayn baboshy
    May 11, 2021

    I need a post on your site. Tell me a reasonable price.
    I’m waiting for your response.

    • Denis
      May 25, 2021

      I am an advisor for students in an academic school in Sri Lanka But hopping to start my own Technical Classes in Electrical and electronic house hold equipment management.
      Hope you can help me in general. I am a qualified Technician with a certificate in City and Guild London in Electronics and telecommunication. and a trained facilitator for NVQ 4 at a Vocational Training Institute of SL.
      How could I start. if you can guide me

  5. Point Locals
    Mar 30, 2021

    Thanks for the blog. Its really very helpful.

  6. Roderic Yineh Ajim
    Mar 24, 2021

    Thanks alot for the information, I’m a student of Electrical Engineering over here in Africa (Cameroon) and indeed the rules will be of great help.

  7. S.Satnam Singh Rihal Delhi
    Feb 10, 2021

    All precautions illustrated in easy language to understand the electrical workers

  8. Luxco
    Nov 16, 2020

    Hi Thanks for sharing the information about the 21 safety rules for working with elelctrical equipments

  9. Precious
    Nov 10, 2020

    It very helpful as I’m writing my assignment 🤗🤗

  10. test and tag Auckland
    Oct 31, 2020

    Over here you will get to know about the 21 safety rules for working with electrical equipment.Things to be considered include many options listed in this link. It is very useful article and would suggest others too. I am sure many people will come to read this in future. You have done a great research for I feel, thanks for sharing.

  11. Mailen
    Aug 21, 2020

    Thanks its helpful

  12. Nigel
    Aug 12, 2020

    Safety must be our priority. Thanks a lot for this information.

  13. AbdulMuhiz
    Jun 23, 2020

    Wow it nice thanks

  14. Avinash Singh
    Apr 01, 2020

    Thanks to the author for sharing good safety tips.

  15. Brock Judd
    Jan 16, 2020

    We have contractors phone us asking for anti-static boots where they should be using electrical and vice versa….common guys…

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