Improperly Grounded Electrical Equipment

It is not uncommon on construction sites to find electrical equipment with broken ground prongs. Without ground prongs, the ground circuit interrupter (GFCI) cannot do its job: transferring fault current to ground. Missing ground prongs can cause:

  • Electrical shocks and burns
  • Fires or explosions
  • Electrocutions

Electrical shock can often lead to other types of injuries, such as:

  • Falling from ladders, scaffolds, work platforms and other elevated places
  • Being struck by a tool that was dropped when the user was shocked

Before you use electrical equipment, it is important to inspect it for defects such as broken ground prongs, frayed cords, cracked tool casings, etc. If you find defective equipment, mark it with a tag so co-workers don’t use it, and remove it from the job site as soon as possible. Remember that only qualified electricians should repair damaged electrical equipment.

Inspect equipment regularly and prior to use. Here are basic safety precautions:

  • Look for equipment defects:
    • Missing ground prongs
    • Frayed cords
    • Cracked tool casing
  • Always use a GFCI around areas where there is water
  • Clean and inspect equipment after use
  • Tag defective equipment
  • Removed defective equipment from your worksite