National Electrical Safety Month

Date: May 10, 2022

Carrie Kolodji, Sr. Risk Control Analyst

Don't Be Shocked. Here's What You Need to Know.

Between 1992 and 2020, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports a total of 86,648 non-fatal electrical injuries involving days away from work. While electrical hazards are fatal and costly, they are preventable. In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month, protect yourself and your employees – understand the danger and control the risk.

Workplace Electrical Injury Statistics

How do electrical injuries look in the workplace? Check out these statistics from a 2020 data analysis by the ESFI.

  • 126 U.S. workers suffered fatal electrical injuries.
  • Construction and extraction account for the most fatal electrical injuries.
  • 3 percent of all electrical incidents reported were fatal.
  • There were 2,220 non-fatal electrical injuries involving days away from work.

Four Types of Electrical Injuries

There are four main types of electrical injuries workers face. These include electrocution, electric shock, burns, and falls due to contact with electrical energy.

Control the Hazard

Misused and damaged power cords can cause painful injuries, fires, equipment damage, and regulatory citations and penalties. Even the smallest amount of electrical current can result in injury or death. Review this list of electrical safety do's and don'ts to protect yourself and your employees.


  • Use extension cords the correct size or rating for the equipment in use. The diameter of the extension cord should be the same or greater than the cord of the equipment in use.
  • Always inspect the cord before use. Damaged or frayed cords must be taken out of service and replaced immediately.
  • Make sure your hands are dry before plugging or unplugging a power cord.
  • Use extension cords only when necessary and only temporarily.
  • Keep electrical cords away from areas where they could get pinched and areas where they may pose a tripping or fire hazard, such as doorways, walkways, and under carpet.
  • When working outdoors, use only weather-resistant heavy gauge extension cords labeled "for outdoor use."


  • Never use an adapter or extension cord to defeat a standard grounding device. Only place three-prong plugs in three-prong plug outlets. Do not alter them to fit in a two-prong outlet.
  • Do not use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
  • Never disconnect a plug from a socket by jerking the cord. Instead, grasp the plug and remove it from the socket.
  • Never connect extension cords/power strips to one other. Doing this can overload the circuit, creating a potential fire hazard.
  • Do not run cords above ceiling tiles or through walls.
  • Don't drag cords over rough surfaces, and never use them to lift or pull materials. Electrical cords were not designed to function as ropes.

BITCO is here to help protect you and your team. For more safety recommendations, contact your local Risk Control Consultant. To find a BITCO agent near you, click the button below.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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