Skip to main content

Electrical Safety Fact Sheet


Electricity is one of the most commonly encountered hazards in any facility. Therefore, OSHA Regulation subpart S-Electrical (29 CFR 1910.331-335) specifies safety-related work practices that shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts, when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized.

Applicable University Policy

VI-14.00(A) UMD Policy on Control of Hazardous Energy During Maintenance of Equipment (Lockout/Tagout Plan)

Applicable Regulations

All electrical wiring and equipment must comply with the following:

  • National Electric Code (NEC)
  • NFPA 70E
  • 29 CFR 1910- The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
  • 29 CFR 1910.151- Special Industries (High Voltage Electricity)
  • 29 CFR 1910.331 -Scope
  • 29 CFR 1910.332 -Training
  • 29 CFR 1910.333 -Selection and use of work practices
  • 29 CFR 1910.334 -Use of equipment
  • 29 CFR 1910.335 -Safeguards for personnel protection

Summary of Requirements

  • The requirements of electrical safety are specified by OSHA and specific work practices are detailed in NFPA 70 E as well as University policy.
  • Work performed must be done by a licensed electrician and in accordance with the National Electric Code.
  • The use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) as a device to protect a person from electric shock when he or she simultaneously contacts a "live" wire or part and a grounded object.
  • OSHA has promulgated specifications which affect high voltage distribution systems within the university that need to be considered in the installation of new equipment.
  • Use of personal protective equipment when employees are working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall be provided with, and shall use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.


Scope: The training requirements apply to employees who face a risk of electrical shock that is not reduced to a safe level by the electrical installation requirements of 29 CFR 1910.303 through 1910.308.

Employees in occupations facing a higher than normal risk of electrical accident are required to be trained. Additionally, other employees who may reasonably be expected to face comparable risk of injury due to electric shock or other electrical hazards must also be trained.

Content: Employees shall be trained in, and become familiar with, the safety-related work practices required by 1910.331 through 1910.335 but that pertain to their respective job assignments.


  • All power tools and appliances must be free of cracks, fraying, heat damage and insulation damage.
  • Any electrical control, disconnect switches, and transformers must not be blocked in a manner that will impede access to the devices. The regulations require a minimum of three feet of clearance.
  • All equipment must have grounded three-prong plugs.
  • Live parts to which an employee may be exposed shall be deenergized before the employee works on or near them, unless the employer can demonstrate that deenergizing introduces additional or increased hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Live parts that operate at less than 50 volts to ground need not be deenergized if there will be no increased exposure to electrical burns or to explosion due to electric arcs.

University Resources

Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk (301) 405-3960
ESSR Fax No.    (301) 314-9294
ESSR Website:

Written 5/98
Revised 4/05

Back to Top