The primary hazards – and accidents – are shock, burns, arc-blast, explosions and
fires. Why do these accidents happen? In many cases, because people
get caught up in what they’re doing and overlook basic safety
To help prevent an electrical accident in
your shop, follow these general safety practices:
- Don’t use electrical power equipment or tools if you haven’t
been trained on how to use them.
- Keep power cords out of the path of drills, lathes, grinders
- Don’t carry plugged-in equipment or tools with your finger
on the switch.
- Turn tools and equipment off before plugging them in or unplugging
- Don’t leave tools that are on unattended.
- Don’t handle or operate electrical tools or equipment when
your hands are wet or when you’re standing on wet floors.
- Don’t operate spark-inducing tools or equipment, such as grinders
or drills, near flammable containers or in an explosive atmosphere,
such as in a spraybooth.
- Exposed wiring and cords that are frayed, cut, kinked or have
deteriorated insulation should be repaired or taken out of service
- Turn off electrical tools and equipment and disconnect the
power source from the outlet before attempting repairs or service
work. Tag the tool or equipment "out of service."
- Before any authorized person repairs or inspects a piece of
electrical equipment, the current should be turned off at the
switch box, and the switch should be padlocked in the "off"
- Don’t use extension cords or other grounded, three-pronged
power tools that have the ground prong removed or broken off.
- Don’t use an adapter that eliminates the ground, such as a
- Don’t connect multiple electrical tools into a single outlet.
- Don’t use a power hand tool while wearing wet cotton or leather
- Don’t operate power hand tools and equipment with a two-pronged
adapter or a two-conductor extension cord.
- Ensure all the portable hand tools and equipment are grounded
and the double-insulated type, such as vacuum cleaners, grinders
- Electrical enclosures – such as switches, receptacles and
junction boxes – should be provided with tight-fitting covers
(plates, doors). Covers should be closed at all times when the
enclosure isn’t in use.
- Electrical installation, service and repair should be in accordance
- Electrical Code Standards and be performed by a qualified
and licensed electrician.
Information for this article was provided by Universal Underwriters
Group, which offers specialized business insurance to the automotive
aftermarket. For more information, call (800) 840-8842.