Electrical Safety

These days almost everything in our homes, office, and other workplace settings operates on electricity. It is important to remember that all electrical equipment is a potential hazard and has the ability to cause serious shocks, burns, as well as destruction of tissue, nerves, and muscles if improperly used. The following tips are designed to keep you safe and remind you of the steps you should take in order to work with/handle electrical equipment safely.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Only purchase equipment/appliances that meet the requirements of Technical Safety BC.  To ensure your equipment meets the requirements check the following bulletin.
  • When unplugging devices always pull on the plug end and not on the cord.
  • Only use a laptop on a hard, flat surfaces to allow the vents to function properly.
  • Keep all heat producing items away from soft furnishings, curtains and other flammable materials.
  • Unplug all chargers when going home for the evening or when away from your work area for an extended period.

Extension cord and power bar etiquette:

  • Extension cords should only be used temporarily.
  • Use surge protectors on power bars to prevent damage to equipment.
  • Replaced if worn, old, or damaged.
  • Avoid placing where they can be easily damaged, pinched, or stepped on.

Contact Facilities Management if you observe any of the following:

  • Flickering light bulbs or lights that dim when you use certain appliances.
  • Light switches or outlets that are hot to the touch.
  • Outlets that spark when you plug something in.
  • Outlets or electrical wires that create any sound or heat.
  • Circuit breakers that trip constantly.
  • Any other electrical safety concerns.

If you have general questions in regard to electrical safety or would like an inspection of your workspace, please contact HSE at hse.ok@ubc.ca

Additional Resources

Electrical Safety in Offices

Isolation and Lockout Information

Electrical Safety in the Laboratory

CCOHS-Electrical Safety Basic Information

BC Hydro-Electrical Safety at Home

WorkSafe BC-Electrical Safety