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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. prnvservices
    Jul 25, 2023

    hello, thank you for the aricle. keep sharing

  2. PSALM Electricals
    Jul 06, 2023

    This article is an invaluable resource for anyone working with electrical equipment. It provides a comprehensive guide to ensure safety in electrical installations and maintenance. The rules outlined are concise, easy to understand, and cover essential aspects of electrical safety. I highly recommend this article to anyone involved in electrical work, as it emphasizes the importance of following safety protocols to prevent accidents and protect lives. Also, Hire the best Electricians Vancouver.

  3. Isaac Mutambu
    May 19, 2023

    I have found those rules and regulations quite helping and understanding for us electrical engineers

  4. Marika Bainimoli
    Jan 04, 2023

    Very Easy to understand especially for beginners..five star rating.thanks

  5. Jilala ng'wiza
    Nov 05, 2022

    In short very good content add more knowledge

  6. Akinyemi Emmanuel
    Apr 22, 2022

    This is interesting thank you

  7. Sunil Kashiara
    Apr 14, 2022

    very useful blog, which purely explains the safety rules while electrical works

  8. Michael Korletey Zanyo
    Feb 04, 2022

    I am electrical engineer and need more help with safety issues

    • Urmom
      Apr 04, 2022

      nothing I can do :D

    • Jonathan Gurten
      Nov 10, 2022

      Could you tell me which standard defines the electrical safety requirements for electronic devices using 230V power supply?
      Thanks in advance.

  9. Hrithik
    Jan 04, 2022

    Good , Veryy Knowledgeble

  10. Hrithik
    Jan 04, 2022

    Keep going ,Nicee

  11. Nda
    Nov 02, 2021

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

  12. Habtamu Tadesse
    Oct 01, 2021

    can you tell me safety material

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Point Locals
    Mar 30, 2021

    Thanks for the blog. Its really very helpful.

  16. 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.

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

    All precautions illustrated in easy language to understand the electrical workers

  18. Luxco
    Nov 16, 2020

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

  19. Precious
    Nov 10, 2020

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

  20. 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.

  21. Mailen
    Aug 21, 2020

    Thanks its helpful

  22. Nigel
    Aug 12, 2020

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

  23. AbdulMuhiz
    Jun 23, 2020

    Wow it nice thanks

  24. Avinash Singh
    Apr 01, 2020

    Thanks to the author for sharing good safety tips.

  25. 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…

  26. Madhav
    Jan 10, 2020

    Good article…but yes, the point made by Bobby Saint in his comment is equally important.

    Edvard is doing a great job in sharing the knowledge which I am sure is helpful to many electrical engineers and technicians.. I have found quite a few EEP articles being very useful to me in the last 5 years..
    Take this opportunity to thank Edvard and his team and wish him and all EEP readers a very happy 2020.

    Madhav, Pune(India).

    Aug 19, 2019

    So wonderful life is better than all we struggle looking for. Thanks sir.

  28. Pedro Chadreque
    Jul 03, 2019

    Wonderful explanation about safety rules to be applied to prevent injuries and Equipment damages or even death. Congratulations and thank you very much.

  29. Paschal Africanus
    Jun 22, 2019

    Good advice, thank you for your good work of educating people.

    • julie
      Sep 18, 2019

      i love how it keeps me safe

  30. Ivara
    May 28, 2019

    Please i want to how connect inter switch,from my generator to light .

  31. Mumin
    May 26, 2019

    Am so much grateful,, God bless you

  32. Kelvin John
    Apr 26, 2019

    I am an electrician who has low power, but I need to be inquisitive to know more high-quality electricity will connect more into this page and be educated on learning electronic things, thank you

    Feb 20, 2019

    Thanks for these live saving tip. This article has transformed me to an Electrical safety officer. I rely on you to become a great ELECTRICIAN

  34. Zambia
    Jan 08, 2019

    Good information

    Nov 12, 2018


  36. Ramasubramanian
    Aug 05, 2018

    Dear edward syangi,
    How to arrest humming sound in lv busbar trunking system?

  37. sanjana
    Jul 21, 2018

    Thanks for the safety tips I really liked it an also I follow the safety guidelines.

  38. Sumita Bhattacharjee
    Jul 13, 2018

    Thank you so much for sharing the information. These safety rules are lifesavers for many. Keep sharing such info. Regards.

  39. swapnil
    Jun 22, 2018

    Thank you so much updating safety rule..we will sure follow this safety rule.

  40. Win Nwe
    Jun 20, 2018

    Thanks for your knowledge, which is important on technical and handling. So, Thank you so much again! I will learn from you and I will sharing these knowledge.

  41. Maria
    May 27, 2018


  42. Hillary Mugauri
    Feb 07, 2018

    Thank you very much,the rules will help

    Dec 20, 2017

    Nice & Some points Improve


  44. Bobby Saint
    Nov 11, 2017

    I couldn’t agree more when you mentioned avoiding making direct contact with energized electrical circuits. This can be potentially dangerous and can possibly lead to death depending on the voltage of the item or unit. It is recommended that you stay away from live wires and make sure that these are far from the reach of children. Always remind them not to play with electricity. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Thanks.

  45. Noah Simiyu
    Oct 10, 2017

    I appreciate for your good work

  46. Jon
    Feb 06, 2017

    Hey Edvard, I cannot seem to be able to find the date this article was published, would you happen to be able to send me that info? Doing a project for school and need that info to fill out my APA for it. Thanks!

  47. Zachary Whitford
    Oct 07, 2016

    If you can perform and if it safe then try using only one hand and keep the other hand on your side away from the electric circuits. This safety precaution while working with electricity can actually reduce the passing of current through your body.

  48. Abdullah Mujahid
    Aug 21, 2016

    Nice Instructions
    I am thankfull of you for this work.

  49. sunita naik
    Jan 17, 2016

    thanx this rules are very helpful for me

  50. Maxwell Fully
    Nov 23, 2015

    Thanks so much for the tips on safety.

  51. Eliza Cranston
    Oct 22, 2015

    Thank you for the electrical safety tips! I’m thinking of doing some electrical wiring myself in my new home, but I want to be sure that I stay safe. Would you recommend do it yourself wiring for amateurs or should I call in an electrician just to be safe?

  52. mbetnae
    Oct 18, 2015

    Thanks in advance

    Sep 22, 2015

    i am very pleased with these tips

  54. pawar abhishek
    Aug 29, 2015

    its really really important to know this inst. for every individual!!!!!!

  55. Roy
    Aug 24, 2015

    These tips are really helpful. Thanks!

  56. Handyman Soho Ltd.
    Aug 18, 2015

    Very useful rules! I am glad I found them. I was trying to explain my 7 years old daughter how dangerous electricity is. I will show her this article and make her learn all the rules. Thank you for sharing it.

  57. David Calkins
    Aug 17, 2015

    These 21 rules seem to be good with one exception: rule 17. I have seen pictures of the hands of individuals who practiced this rule and hand their hand blown to smithereens! It’s NEVER a good practice to contact live conductors even with the back of your hand.

  58. Electrician Telford
    Aug 14, 2015

    Thanks for the following useful blog, safety is first and must while dealing with electrical work. Also, thanks for the tips you mentioned above.

  59. Aidan Denny
    Aug 05, 2015

    these 21 safety tips are very effective for the people. hope people keep in mind these tips.

  60. abdus salam
    Jul 27, 2015

    thank you for the safety advise

  61. Uniform Management
    Jul 15, 2015

    thank you for safety tips.

  62. Chuck Sampson
    Mar 03, 2015

    I don’t work on big power like you guys. Usually only a few kilowatts. However these rules are pretty much universal and apply at all power levels. I couldn’t think any other rules, however I would make one change and that would be to combine rule 3 with rule 13. So many times I’ve seen guys get hit when they forgot to discharge the input or output caps of a power supply or amplifier before they started to service it and then discharged those caps through themselves.

    Just turning off the power isn’t good enough,

    You need to make sure every part of the circuitry has been discharged. I usually wait four or five minutes -probably longer for the big power guys -and then check the voltages with my DMM before I start working on any electrical equipment.

    Thanks for the reminders.

  63. Vhander
    Sep 23, 2014

    Hi Mr Edvard,

    If I may ask can I include these Rules in our Safety Policy?

    Thank you.

  64. D-MasterFunk
    Aug 19, 2014

    these is gud prosejurs thenks

    • D-MasterFunk fan
      Aug 23, 2019

      Thank you D-MasterFunk, very cool

    • D-MasterFunk42069
      Aug 23, 2019

      thanks yoy for th guud insigtfl cumennt goud bles

  65. 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

  66. komichi
    Jul 16, 2014

    many thankss

  67. 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.

  68. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. 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

  70. 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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