This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk provides reminders and tips about general electrical safety. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout.

General Electrical Safety


Always use caution when working near or around electricity. What follows here are some general reminders and tips to help ensure safe behaviors and working conditions on the jobsite.

Working around Electricity

Always assume that all wires are energized. NEVER ASSUME THAT ANY WIRE IS SAFE TO TOUCH.

  • Deenergize power at main breaker prior to performing any work.
  • Test the line to verify a “zero energy state” with the appropriate voltage tester.

Never touch fallen wires or any wires not connected. If you come across any fallen wires call the utility company to report these lines.

Stay 10 feet away from all overhead lines during all activities.

Keep all materials and equipment 10 feet away from power lines:

  • Ladders
  • Forklifts, MEWPs
  • Conduit and pipe to be installed
  • Aluminum capping and drip edge for roofing

If in a vehicle and wire falls onto vehicle, stay in vehicle and have someone call 911.

Electrical Equipment and Cords

All damaged or fraying electrical cords must be taken out of service and destroyed. No repairs are permitted on jobsite. Any repairs must be done by a trained qualified person.

Never operate electrical equipment while in water.

All electrical equipment should be inspected by a qualified electrician if it has gotten wet prior to energizing.

When working on equipment place all energy sources in the safe position, and follow your company’s Lock-out Tag-out procedures. NEVER WORK ON ENERGIZED EQUIPMENT.

When working in a damp location, all cords and powered tools should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition, free of defects, electrical cords and connections kept out of puddles, and all circuits must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Low voltage does not mean low hazard!

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