Do's and Don'ts

  • Open electrical panels present exposure hazards. Close whenever possible.
  • Do report broken or damaged panel doors.
  • Do exercise caution closing a door. If you think closing an Electrical Panel Door poses an electrical hazard, contact the appropriate personnel to close it.
  • If a person becomes energized, that person must be safely separated from the electrical power, or the electrical power shut off or removed.
  • Remove the current source by operating the disconnect. Time is short, prolonged exposure to electrical shock causes increased personal damage.
  • Do not touch the person who is in contact with electricity.
  • Do not reach blindly into areas that might contain live energized equipment.
  • Do not distract or put yourself in a position that might distract another person working on energized equipment. Looking over an Electrician's shoulder while he/she is working in an Electrical Panel is a dangerous practice that could put you and the Electrician's life in danger.
  • Do illuminate areas to help provide a safe work environment.
  • Do keep the areas in front of electrical equipment clear.
  • Do remove conductive articles of clothing or jewelry such as watches, bracelets rings necklaces before starting work.
  • Do use only properly insulated tools rated for the Approach Boundary area where work is to be performed.
  • Do avoid touching or leaning on equipment that could potentially be energized or come in contact with energized equipment (metallic surfaces).
  • When operating switchgear (energizing or de-energizing): switch remotely if possible, stand aside as much as possible if manually switching, using proper PPE.
  • Never assume that you know how a circuit is wired. Ask for help and/or consult a wiring diagram/schematic if you are unsure.
  • Apply lockout / tagout devices in accordance with established policy, your lock is your PERSONAL key to staying ALIVE! Always use your own lock. Never have someone else do it for you.
  • Always TEST to ensure there is no voltage inside an electrical enclosure prior to working on it. Use adequately rated equipment to test each phase conductor phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground. Before and after each test, determine that the voltage detector is operating satisfactorily.
  • Do not bypass or defeat electrical safety devices or circuitry.


Figure 1: Arc Flash

Courtesy of EWB Engineering, LLC