The 5 most common electrical hazards in your workplace

Emily Fear, Marketing Officer


According to Work Safe Australia, contact to electricity accounts for 4% of all workplace fatalities in Australia. 

Electrocution is one of the biggest dangers on construction sites.  These risks can be significantly reduced with an increase in education, safety procedures and onsite actions. Below are the five most common electrical hazards and tips to reduce these risks.

Regular testing and tagging is very important to maintain a safe working enviroment for all. 

1. Beware of Overhead Power Lines

Overhead power lines can be very dangerous. If bodily contact is made with their high voltage major burns and electrocution can occur.  To reduce the risks of working with or near power lines, ensure a minimum distance of 3 meters is maintained at all times for yourself and any other electrical equipment. For the safety of pedestrians and passes-by ensure safety barriers are installed.

From 2014- 2016 “a total of 55 people died with electrical injury as the underlying cause of death” – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

2. Usage of Damaged Tools and Equipment

Damaged tools and electrical equipment can cause fires and electrocution. Before using any electrical appliance, conduct a visual check for cracks, cuts or exposed wires on cables and cords. If a fault is detected, remove the item from service immediately to be repaired or replaced.  Do not attempt to fix the cable yourself unless you are qualified to do so. Regular test and tag services are required to identify these faults to ensure all work-site equipment is safe to use.

3. Electrical Grounding Issue

Improper grounding is a very common electrical violation. Please ensure that the correct grounding is used and that all electrical tools are connected to an RCD to remove any risk of unwanted voltage, electrocution or fires.

Keep all your test and tag reports.

Photograph was taken onsite – this photo is protected by Copywrite.

4. Exposed Electrical Wiring

Exposed wiring on tools and electrical equipment can cause shocks and burns.  Before use always ensure all electrical appliances are properly guarded and checked for exposed parts or wires.  Covering exposed wires with electrical tape may seem like a good idea at the time however this does not protect the user from possible injury.

5. Wet Working Environments

Wet environments are considered the most hazardous setting for electrical items. Never operate electrical appliances in wet conditions (unless specified that it is waterproof or water safe).  The presence of water significantly increases the risk of electrocution. If electrical equipment gets wet ensure that it is inspected & tested and tagged before use.

In today’s modern workforce it is Australian regulation for companies to create the safest work environment possible for their employees.  Keeping your team safe is no small task, to help you complete this we have created a FREE checklist for applying electrical safety practices at work.

Download your FREE

Electrical Safety Audit Checklist.


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