Electrical safety should be one of the top priorities in any workplace. Understanding the potential hazards that employees may encounter when working with electricity, how to assess these risks, taking necessary precautions, and adhering to electrical safety regulations are essential aspects that must be known. In addition to safeguarding the business, it is crucial to ensure that employees can work safely in their environment. There are numerous electrical safety standards that must be followed in workplaces to prevent electrical shocks, electrical fires, and other hazards associated with electricity.

In this article, we will discuss common electrical hazards while also taking a look at electrical safety regulations.

Common Electrical Related Hazards

Accidents related to electricity are among the most common hazards in workplaces. Creating awareness about identifying electrical hazards, understanding the risks they pose, how severe they can be, and the potential harm to employees is essential. Employees at the highest risk of electrical injuries include maintenance personnel, those working with electrical equipment and machinery, and workers in challenging environments like construction and agriculture.

Only employees with appropriate training, knowledge, experience, and supervision should work on or operate electrical equipment. Voltages above 50 volts AC or 120 volts DC are considered hazardous. Shocks from electrical equipment can lead to serious and permanent injuries, and even fatalities. Shocks can also result in indirect injuries, such as falls from ladders, scaffolding, and other elevated work platforms.

Below you will find the most common electrical hazards in a workplace and what can be done to reduce these risks under electrical safety regulations:

  • Damaged equipment and power tools: Exposure to damaged electrical tools and equipment can pose a risk of electric shock. If you are not trained, never attempt to repair any tool or equipment. Check for cracks, cuts, and wear in cables, wires, and cords.
  • Inadequate Wiring and Overloaded Circuits: Using cables that are not the appropriate size for the current can lead to overheating and fires in electrical equipment. Use the correct cables in accordance with the load and electrical requirements and in compliance with electrical safety regulations.
  • Exposed Electrical Parts: Temporary lighting, exposed power distribution units, and exposed electrical cables with damaged insulation are examples. Secure these items properly to prevent potential shocks and burns.
  • Overhead Power Lines: Overhead electrical and power lines carry high voltages that can cause severe burns and electric shock. Work at least 3 meters away from overhead power lines, ensure that nothing is stored beneath the lines, and use safety barriers and signage to warn employees about hazards in the area.
  • Improper Grounding: One of the most common electrical violations is improper grounding of equipment. To avoid risks such as electric shock, all electrical equipment and devices must be properly grounded.
  • Wet Conditions: If you lack appropriate training and personal protective equipment, never operate electrical equipment in wet conditions.
  • Damaged Insulation: Damaged or insufficient insulation not only poses an electric shock hazard but also a fire hazard. Report damaged insulation on wires immediately and refrain from using the equipment until the issue is resolved.

Electrical Safety Precautions

Regular visual inspections of electrical equipment before use enhance safety. The employer should determine the frequency of checks and inspections considering the location, frequency of use, type, and portability of the equipment, considering the risk assessment.

Lower voltages reduce the risks of electric shock and burns. Battery-operated tools are the safest, use portable tools at 110 volts, and prefer lower voltages for temporary lighting.

However, there are easy ways to reduce the risks associated with electrical work:

  • Ensure that equipment is in good condition.
  • If there is damage or suspicion of a malfunction, stop using the equipment and disconnect it from the power source. Attach a warning tag to the equipment and report the situation to authorized personnel.

In addition to this, it is important to:

  • Provide an adequate number of outlets to prevent overloading.
  • Disconnect all devices from the power source at the end of the day if applicable.
  • Turn off and unplug equipment before cleaning or maintenance.
  • Place a readily accessible and clearly visible switch near machines to cut power in case of an emergency.

When it comes to cable repair and maintenance, there are important points to be considered in the context of electrical safety regulations:

  • Never repair cable cuts with electrical tape.
  • Use appropriate connectors to join cables.
  • Completely replace damaged sections of cables.
  • Do not bend cables when joining them.

When planning electrical work, thoroughly inform relevant individuals. Explain potential risks, how the work should be conducted, and what actions to take in case of an emergency.


  • Ensure that the person performing the work is competent.
  • Use safety markings to inform and restrict access for employees.
  • Use wiring diagrams to determine cable locations.
  • If possible, de-energize overhead lines.

Electrical Safety Regulations

Electrical safety regulations aim to prevent injury or death of workers due to electrical accidents, as well as damage to property.

1. The Electrical Safety Act 2002

The Electricity Safety Act of 2002 outlines the measures that need to be taken to prevent deaths, injuries, and damage to property resulting from electrical accidents.

Responsible Party:

Under the law, the primary responsibility for maintenance lies with the business or business owner. The business owner must ensure the safety of employees against electrical accidents. These responsibilities also extend to managers, supervisors, and employees.

Who Is Covered?

All individuals falling into the following categories are covered by the electrical safety regulations:

  • Employees
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Telecommuters/Piece-rate workers
  • Apprentices and interns
  • Volunteers
  • Employers
  • The public


The law encompasses several aspects, including:

  • Establishment of safety management systems for electrical organizations.
  • Providing licenses for electrical workers and contractors.
  • Setting standards for industry and the public.
  • Determining compliance and sanctions.
  • Protecting consumers against improperly performed or unfinished electrical work.
  • Establishing a consultation framework.

2. The Electrical Safety Regulation 2013

The Electrical Safety Regulations of 2013 complements the Electricity Safety Act.


The regulation covers various aspects, including:

  • Electrical works and installations
  • Electrical permits
  • Working near overhead and underground electrical lines
  • Electrical equipment
  • Electrical supply
  • Safety management systems
  • Reporting and documenting serious electrical incidents.

Electrical Safety Standards in the World

The Workplace Electricity Regulation of 1989 comprehensively addresses the use of electricity in workplaces and assigns responsibilities to employers, employees, and contractors to prevent hazards.

Responsibilities under electrical safety regulations include the following:

  • Electrical systems must be constructed to prevent hazards.
  • Maintenance of electrical systems should be performed to prevent hazards.
  • Work on electrical systems should be conducted in a manner that does not pose a danger.
  • Electrical equipment used in hazardous environments, such as extreme weather conditions, high temperatures, or corrosive conditions, must be constructed or protected in a way that does not present a hazard.
  • Only employees with appropriate training, knowledge, and experience should work with or on electrical equipment.
Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin has been working as the General Coordinator at Ergin Makina since 2005.