Construction Safety

Fueling Safety

  • Fires
  • Poisoning
  • Burns
Safe Practices
  • Prohibit open lights, open flames, sparking, or arcing equipment near fueling or transfer of fuel operations.
  • Prohibit smoking in the vicinity of fueling operations.
  • Prohibit the fueling of an internal combustion engine with a flammable liquid while the engine is running. Stop motor.
  • Discharge your static electricity before fueling by touching a metal surface away from the nozzle.
  • Ensure metal contact between the container and the fuel tank.
  • Ensure fueling hoses are of a type designed to handle the specific type of fuel.
  • Do not handle or transfer gasoline or other flammables in open containers. Use only approved containers.
  • Prohibit filling portable containers in or on a motor vehicle. Place container on ground before filling.
  • Do not re-enter a vehicle when pumping fuel into that vehicle.
  • Replace and secure cap before starting engine.
  • Keep spillage to a minimum.
  • If spillage occurs during fueling operations, wash spilled fuel completely, evaporate, or take other measures to control vapors before
    restarting the engine.
  • Prohibit fueling operations in buildings or other enclosed areas that are not specifically ventilated for this purpose.
  • Ensure nozzles are self-closing when fueling or transferring fuel is done through a gravity flow system.
  • If a fire starts, back away immediately. Call 911 for assistance. If trained, use portable fire extinguisher to put out fire.

Ladder Safety

  • Broken or missing parts.
  • Used around energized electrical equipment.
  • Too short for work height.
  • Weight limit rating too low.
  • Not the correct equipment for the job.
  • Self-supporting (foldout) and non self-supporting (leaning) portable ladders able to support at least four time the maximum intended load.
  • Extra-heavy-duty metal or plastic ladders able to sustain 3.3 times the maximum intended load.
  • Non-self-supporting ladders positioned with a horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1/4 the working length of the ladder.
  • Job-made wooden ladders positioned with an angle equal to about 1/8 the working length.
  • Rungs, cleats, or steps must be parallel, level, and uniformly spaced and must be spaced between 10 and 14 inches apart.
  • For extension trestle ladders, the spacing must be 8-18 inches for the base and 6-12 inches on the extension section, shaped so that an
    employee’s foot cannot slide off and is skid-resistant.
  • Store where ladders cannot be damaged.
  • Prevent warping or sagging.
  • Secure doing transport
  • Check to ensure shoes and ladder are free of oil, grease, wet paint, and other slipping hazards.
  • Warning labels are legible.
  • Spreader device can be locked in place.
  • Ensure area around the top and bottom of ladder is cleared of material.
Safe Practices
  • Face ladder and hold on with both hands when climbing.
  • Carry tools on belt or use hand line.
  • Hold on with one hand when performing work.
  • Never reach too far to either side or rear.
  • Do not climb higher than second step from top on a stepladder or third from the top on a straight ladder.
  • Never attempt to move, shift, extend ladder while in use

Material Handling

  • Falling material
  • Struck-by injuries
Safe Practices
  • Inspect motorized vehicles and mechanized equipment daily or prior to use.
  • Shut off vehicles and set brakes prior to manually loading or unloading.
  • Secure trucks and trailers from movement during loading and unloading operations.
  • Prior to unloading, inspect load for shift, displacement, or instability.
  • Do not store material under energized electrical lines or in emergency exit ways.
  • Keep hand trucks in safe operating condition.
  • Ensure safe clearance for equipment through aisles, doorways, and roadways.
  • Equip chutes with sideboards of sufficient height to prevent materials from free falling.
  • Equip hooks with safety latches or other arrangements when hoisting materials so that slings or load attachments will not slip off the
    hoist hooks accidentally.
  • Ensure securing chains, ropes, chokers, or slings are adequate for the job.
  • Assure no one will be passing under the suspended loads.
  • Prohibit employees from riding on top of any load that can shift, topple, or otherwise become unstable.
  • Ensure personnel do not ride in material hoist; post “No Riders Allowed” at hoist.
  • Ensure entrances to hoist ways are protected with caution gates or bars.
  • Ensure persons who operate vehicles on public roads have valid operator’s licenses.
  • Ensure cutting tools or tools with sharp edges are placed in closed boxes or containers which are secured in place when tools are carried
    in passenger components of employee transport vehicles.
  • Ensure material safety data sheets are available to employees handling hazardous substances.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Misuse or incorrect use.
  • Improper selection of equipment for the hazard.
  • Hazards should be abated through engineering or administrative controls. If those controls are not available or in-feasible, use personal protective equipment to put a barrier between you and the hazards.
  • Hearing protection – when exposed to noise at or above 90 decibels (dB)TWA. If you have to yell to communicate, you need hearing protection.
  • Hard Hats – when exposed to bumping into or struck-by hazards.
  • Gloves & arm protection – when exposed to chemicals, heat, cold, radiation agents, or abrasive surfaces.
  • Respirators – when exposed to harmful inhalation hazards due to chemicals. Respirators have intended uses; ensure the respirator you are using is properly selected for the hazard to which you are exposed. For example, dust respirators are used for silica exposure when cutting block, organic cartridge respirators for trichloroethylene found in paints and resins.
  • Safety harnesses with lanyards – when exposed to fall hazards.
  • Eye and face protection – glasses are intended to be use to protect from impact hazards. (When using saws.) Goggles protect the eyes from splash hazards. Faces shields are intended to protect the face from splash hazards and should be worn with safety glasses or goggles.
  • Welding hoods – when performing cutting, welding, or brazing.
  • Airline sand blasting hoods – used when sand-blasting. Ensure helper is protected also.
  • Steel-toe shoes – for falling heavy objects.


  • Falls
  • Fractures
  • Strains and Sprains
Safe Practices
  • Stairways or ladders are provided at worker points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches.
  • Ensure stair rails are installed on all stairways with 4 or more risers, or rising more than 30 inches.
  • Ensure that satirical are not less than 36 inches in height.
  • Ensure guardrails are installed on all stairs prior to use.
  • Ensure that stairways are not being used to store materials.
  • Except during construction of the actual stairway, skeleton metal frame structures and steps must not be used, unless the stairs are filled and secure with temporary treads and landings.
  • Ensure that mid rail screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members or equivalent intermediate structural members are provided between the top rail and the stair rail system.
  • Ensure that temporary handrails have a minimum clearance of 3 inches between the handrail and the walls, stair rail system, and other objects.
  • Ensure that the unprotected sides and edges of stairway landings are protected by a standard guardrail system.
  • Ensure that stairways are installed at least 30 degrees, and no more than 50 degrees from the horizontal.
  • Ensure that a platform is provided at all locations where doors or gates open directly onto a stairway.
  • Ensure that the swing of gates and doors no not reduce the effective width of the platform to less than 20 inches.

Electrical Safety Guidelines

1. Introduction

OSHA requires that:

    • All employees who are at risk of electrical shocks must be trained to practice electrical safety.
    • Qualified workers need special training as determined by the nature of their responsibilities.
    • Unqualified workers must be trained in electrical safety practices as covered in 29 CFR 1910.332.

Qualified workers are those persons permitted to work around energized “live” electrical parts. They could implement lockout/tag-out and other safety procedures. Unqualified workers may not work around live electrical parts but need to know the safety rules and obey all warning signs, tags, and stay out of hazardous areas.

Basic rules for electricity include:

  • Use insulated tools and PPE when working around electricity.
  • Be careful of live parts in “blind” areas.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Use non-conducting or insulated tools and equipment when working near electricity.
  • Never use damaged power tools or electrical cords.
  • Do not touch electric tools, equipment, or cords that are wet, or with wet hands.
2. Policy

It is the policy of Georgia Southern University (GSU) to take every reasonable precaution in the performance of work to protect the health and safety of employees and the public and to minimize the probability of damage to property. The electrical safety requirements contained in this chapter are regulations set forth by GSU Environmental Safety Services.

3. Employee Responsibility

All Georgia Southern University (GSU) personnel are responsible for all aspects of safety within their own groups. The Responsible Safety Officer is responsible for providing information, instruction, and assistance as appropriate concerning Georgia Southern University (GSU) electrical safety requirements and procedures. Individual employees are responsible for their own and their co-workers’ safety. Everyone needs to:

  1. Become acquainted with all potential hazards in the area in which they work.
  2. Learn and follow the appropriate standards, procedures, and hazard control methods.
  3. Never undertake a potentially hazardous operation without consulting with appropriate supervision.
  4. Stop any operation you believe to be hazardous.
  5. Notify a supervisor of any condition or behavior that poses a potential hazard.
  6. Wear and use appropriate protective equipment.
  7. Immediately report any occupational injury or illness to the appropriate supervisor.
4. Employee Responsibilities

Acting in a supervisory capacity has specific safety responsibilities. These include:

    1. Developing an attitude and awareness of safety in the people supervised and seeing that individual safety responsibilities are fully carried out.
    2. Maintaining a safe work environment and taking corrective action on any potentially hazardous operation or condition.
    3. Ensuring that the personnel he/she directs are knowledgeable and trained in the tasks they are asked to perform.
    4. Ensuring that safe conditions prevail in the area and that everyone is properly informed of the area’s safety regulations and procedures.
    5. Ensuring that contract personnel are properly protected by means of instructions, signs, barriers, or other appropriate resources.
    6. Ensuring that no employee assigned to potentially hazardous work appears to be fatigued, ill, emotionally disturbed, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (prescription, over the counter medicinal, or otherwise).

Management at every level has the responsibility for maintaining the work environment at a minimal level of risk throughout all areas of control.

5. Management Responsibilities
  1. Is responsible for being aware of all potentially hazardous activities within the area of responsibility.
  2. May assign responsibility or delegate authority for performance of any function.
  3. But remains accountable to higher management for any oversight or error that leads to injury, illness, or damage to property.
6. Procedures

It is the policy of Georgia Southern University (GSU)to follow the fundamental principles of safety which are described below. A clear understanding of these principles will improve the safety of working with or around electrical equipment:

  1. Practice proper housekeeping and cleanliness. Poor housekeeping is a major factor in many accidents. A cluttered area is likely to be both unsafe and inefficient. Every employee is responsible for keeping a clean area and every supervisor is responsible for ensuring that his or her areas of responsibility remain clean.
  2. Identify hazards and anticipate problems. Think through what might go wrong and what the consequences would be. Do not hesitate to discuss any situation or question with your supervisor and co-workers.
  3. Resist “hurry-up” pressure. Program pressures should not cause you to bypass thoughtful consideration and planned procedures.
  4. Design for safety. Consider safety to be an integral part of the design process. Protective devices, warning signs, and administrative procedures are supplements to good design but can never fully compensate for its absence. Completed designs should include provisions for safe maintenance.
  5. Maintain for safety. Good maintenance is essential to safe operations. Maintenance procedures and schedules for servicing and maintaining equipment and facilities, including documentation of repairs, removals, replacements, and disposals, should be established.
  6. Document your work. An up-to-date set of documentation adequate for operation, maintenance, testing, and safety should be available to anyone working on potentially hazardous equipment. Keep drawings and prints up-to-date. Dispose of obsolete drawings and be certain that active file drawings have the latest corrections.
  7. Have designs reviewed. All systems and modifications to systems performing a safety function or controlling potentially hazardous operations must be reviewed and approved at the level of project engineer or above.
  8. Have designs and operation verified. All systems performing safety functions or controlling a potentially hazardous operation must be periodically validated by actual test procedures at least once a year, and both the procedures and actual tests must be documented.
  9. Test equipment safety. Tests should be made when the electrical equipment is de-energized or, at most, energized with reduced hazard.
  10. Know emergency procedures. All persons working in areas of high hazard (with high-voltage power supplies, capacitor banks, etc.) must be trained in emergency response procedures, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
  11. Georgia Southern University (GSU) does not permit working with Energized Equipment without written approval by an authorized person.
7. Definitions

The following definitions are used in this discussion of electrical safety:

Authorized Person
An individual recognized by management as having the responsibility for and expertise to perform electrical procedures in the course of normal duties. Such individuals are normally members of electronic or electrical groups.
Backup Protection
A secondary, redundant, protective system provided to de-energize a device, system, or facility to permit safe physical contact by assigned personnel. A backup protective system must be totally independent of the first-line protection, and must be capable of functioning in the event of total failure of the first-line protective system.
A coworker who is cognizant of potential danger and occasionally checks the other worker.
Electrical Hazard
A potential source of personnel injury involving, either directly or indirectly, the use of electricity.
Direct Electrical Hazard
A potential source of personnel injury resulting from the flow of electrical energy through a person (electrical shocks and burns).
Indirect Electrical Hazard
A potential source of personnel injury resulting from electrical energy that is transformed into other forms of energy (e.g., radiant energy, such as light, heat, or energetic particles; magnetic fields; chemical reactions such as fire, explosions, the production of noxious gases and compounds; and involuntary muscular reactions).
First Line Protection
The primary protective system and/or operational procedure provided to prevent physical contact with energized equipment.
General Supervision
The condition that exists when an individual works under a supervisor’s direction, but not necessarily in the continuous presence of the supervisor.
Grounding Point
The most direct connection to the source of a potential electrical hazard such as the terminals of a capacitor. A yellow circular marker must indicate such a point.
Grounds, Electrical
Any designated point with adequate capacity to carry any potential currents to earth. Designated points may be building columns or specially designed ground-network cabling, rack, or chassis ground. Cold water pipes, wire ways, and conduits must not be considered electrical grounds.
Grounds, Massive
Large areas of metal, concrete, or wet ground that make electrical isolation difficult or impossible.
Implied Approval
Approval is implied when a supervisor, knowing the qualifications of an individual, assigns that individual a task or responsibility for a device, system, or project.
Qualified Person
An individual recognized by management as having sufficient understanding of a device, system, or facility to be able to positively control any hazards it may present.
Safety Watch
An individual whose sole task is to observe the operator and to quickly de-energize the equipment, using a crash button or circuit breaker control in case of an emergency, and to alert emergency personnel. This person should have basic CPR training.
8. Types of Hazards
The degree of hazard associated with electrical shock is a function of the duration, magnitude, and frequency of the current passed by the portion of the body incorporated in the circuit. The current that can flow through the human body with contacts at the extremities, such as between the hand or head and one of both feet, depends largely on the voltage. Body circuit resistance, even with liquid contacts (barring broken skin) will probably be not less than 500 ohms. The current flow at this resistance at 120 volts is 240 milliamperes. Recognition of the hazards associated with various types of electrical equipment is of paramount importance in developing and applying safety guidelines for working on energized equipment. Three classes (in order of increasing severity) of electrical hazards have evolved.
Class A Hazards
A Class A electrical hazard exists when all of the following conditions prevail.

  • The primary AC potential does not exceed 130volts rms.
  • The available primary AC current is limited to 30 amperes rms.
  • The stored energy available in a capacitor or inductor is less than 5 joules (J-CV2/2=LI2/2).
  • The CD or secondary AC potentials are less than 50 volts line-to-line and/or to ground or the DC or secondary AC power is 150 volt-amperes (V-A) or less.

Although the voltage and currents may be considered nominal, a “Class A” electrical hazard is potentially lethal. This class is particularly dangerous because of everyday familiarity with such sources, an assumed ability to cope with them, and their common occurrence in less guarded exposures.

Class B Hazards

A Class B electrical hazard has the same conditions as a Class A hazard except that the primary AC potential is greater than 130 volts rms, but does not exceed 300 volts rms.

Class C Hazards

Class C electrical hazard classifications prevail for all situations when one or more of the limitations set in Class B is exceeded.

9. Employee Attitude
The attitudes and habits of personnel and the precautions they routinely take when working on energized equipment are extremely important. There are three modes of working on electrical equipment.
Mode 1: Turn off the power
All operations are to be conducted with the equipment in a positively de-energized state. All external sources of electrical energy must be disconnected by some positive action (e.g., locked-out breaker) and with all internal energy sources rendered safe. “Mode 1” is a minimum hazard situation.
Mode 2: Latent Danger
All manipulative operations (such as making connections or alterations to or near normally energized components) are to be conducted with the equipment in the positively de-energized state. Measurements and observations of equipment functions may then be conducted with the equipment energized and with normal protective barriers removed. “Mode 2” is a moderate-to-severe hazard situation depending on the operating voltages and energy capabilities of the equipment.
Mode 3: Hot Wiring
“Mode 3” exists when manipulative, measurement, and observational operations are to be conducted with the equipment fully energized and with the normal protective barriers removed. “Mode 3” is a severe hazard situation that should be permitted only when fully justified and should be conducted under the closest supervision and control. One knowledgeable person should be involved in addition to the worker(s). Written permission may be required. Work on Class B or Class C energized circuitry must only be done when it is absolutely necessary.
10. Personal Protective Devices
For work on any energized circuitry with a Class B or Class C hazard, the use of personal protective devices (e.g., face shields, blast jackets, gloves, and insulated floor mats) is encouraged, even if not required.
Safety Glasses
Either safety glasses or a face shield must be worn when working on electrical equipment.
Elevated Locations
Any person working on electrical equipment on a crane or other elevated location must take necessary precautions to prevent a fall from reaction to electrical shock or other causes. A second person, knowledgeable as a safety watch, must assume the best possible position to assist the worker in case of an accident.
11. Chain of Command (MISC)
  • The supervisory chain must be identified for normal operation and development, servicing, or testing of hazardous equipment.
  • An up-to-date set of instructions for operation, maintenance, testing, and safety should be provided and made readily available to anyone working on hazardous equipment.
  • As many tests as practicable should be made on any type of electrical equipment in the unenergized condition or, at most, energized with reduced hazard.
  • All covering, clothing, and jewelry that might cause hazardous involvement must be removed.
  • Adequate and workable lockout/tag-out procedures must be employed.
  • A person in a hazardous position who appears to be fatigued, ill, emotionally disturbed, or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (medicinal or otherwise) must be replaced by a competent backup person or the hazardous work must be terminated.
  • Supervisors and workers must be encouraged to make the conservative choice when they are in doubt about a situation regarding safety.
  • Training sessions and drills must be conducted periodically to help prevent accidents and to train personnel to cope with any accidents that may occur. CPR instruction must be included.
  • An emergency “OFF” switch, clearly identified and within easy reach of all high-hazard equipment, should be provided. Also, this switch may be used to initiate a call for help. Resetting an Emergency “OFF” switch must not be automatic but must require an easily understandable overt act.
  • Automatic safety interlocks must be provided for all access to high-hazard equipment. Any bypass of such an interlock should have an automatic reset, display conspicuously the condition of the interlocks, and ensure that barriers cannot be closed without enabling the interlock.
  • All equipment should have convenient, comfortable, and dry access.
  • Communication equipment (e.g., fire alarm box, telephone) should be provided near any hazardous equipment. Its location should be clearly marked to ensure that the person requesting assistance can direct the people responding to a call for help to the emergency site quickly.
  • Any component that in its common use is non-hazardous, but in its actual use may be hazardous, must be distinctively colored and/or labeled. (An example might be a copper pipe carrying high voltage or high current.
  • Periodic tests of interlocks to ensure operability must be performed and documented at least yearly.
  • Equipment must be designed and constructed to provide personnel protection. First-line and backup safeguards should be provided to prevent personnel access to energized circuits.
  • Period tests must be established to verify that these protective systems are operative.
12. Safety Practices

Additional safety practices are described below.

Cable Clamping
A suitable mechanical-strain-relief device such as a cord grip, cable clamp, or plug must be used for any wire or cable penetrating an enclosure where external movement or force can exert stress on the internal connection. Grommets, adlets, or similar devices must not be used as strain relief.
Emergency Lighting
There must be an emergency lighting system that activates when normal power fails in Class C conditions.
Flammable and Toxic Material Control
The use of flammable or toxic material must be kept to a minimum. When components with such fluids are used, a catch basin or other approved method must be provided to prevent the spread of these materials should the normal component case fail.
Covers and enclosures must isolate all sources of dangerous voltage and current. Access to lethal circuits must be either via screw-on panels, each containing no less than four screws or bolts, or by interlocked doors. The frame or chassis of the enclosure must be connected to a good electrical ground with a conductor capable of handling any potential fault current.
Adequate lighting must be provided for easy visual inspection.
Overload Protection
Overload protection and well marked disconnects must be provided. Local “OFF” controls must be provided on remote-controlled equipment. All disconnects and breakers should be clearly labeled as to which loads they control.
All ac and dc power cabling to equipment not having a separate external ground, but having wire-to-wire or wire-to-ground voltage of 50 volts or more must carry a ground conducted unless cabling is inside an interlocked enclosure, rack, grounded-wire way, or conduit, or feeds a commercial double-insulated or UL-approved device. This requirement will ensure that loads such as portable test equipment, temporary or experimental, is grounded. UL-approved devices such as coffeepots, timers, etc., used per the manufacturer’s original intent are permissible.
All conductors, switches, resistors, etc., should be operated within their design capabilities. Pulsed equipment must not exceed either the average, the rms, or the peak rating of components. The equipment should be rated as necessary for the environment and the application of the components.
Safety Grounding
Automatic discharge devices must be used on equipment with stored energy of 5 joules or more. Suitable and visible manual grounding devices must also be provided to short-to-ground all dangerous equipment while work is being performed.
Safety Practices, High Voltage
The following checklist must be used as a guide for circuits operating at 130 volts or more or storing more than 5 joules. An enclosure may be a room, a barricaded area, or an equipment cabinet.
Easily opened doors, panels, etc., must be interlocked so that the act of opening de-energizes the circuit. Automatic discharge of stored-energy devices must be provided. Doors should be key-locked, with the same required key being also used for the locks in the control-circuit-interlock chain. This key must be removable from the door only when the door is closed and locked.
Heat-generating components, such as resistors, must be mounted so that heat is safely dissipated and does not affect adjacent components.
The enclosure must physically prevent contact with live circuits. The enclosure can be constructed of conductive or non-conductive material. If conductive, the material must be electrically interconnected and connected to a good electrical ground. These connections must be adequate to carry all potential fault currents.
Seismic Safety
All racks, cabinets, chassis and auxiliary equipment must be secured against movement during earthquakes.
Enclosures must be strong enough to contain flying debris due to component failure.
Temporary Enclosure
Temporary enclosures (less than 6-months duration) not conforming to the normal requirements must be considered Class C hazards.
Ventilation must be adequate to prevent overheating of equipment and to purge toxic fumes produced by a fault.
Enclosures large enough to be occupied by personnel must allow exterior observation of equipment and personnel working inside the enclosure.
Warning Indicators
When systems other than conventional facilities represent Class C hazards, the systems should be provided with one of the following two safety measures: (1) a conspicuous visual indicator that is clearly visible from any point where a person might make hazardous contact or entry; and (2) A clearly visible primary circuit breaker or “OFF” control button on the front of the enclosure.


Because a wide range of power supplies exist, no one set of considerations can be applied to all cases. The following classification scheme may be helpful in assessing power-supply hazards. Power supplies of 50 volts or less with high current capability too often are not considered a shock hazard although these voltages are capable of producing fatal shocks. Since they are not “high voltage,” such power sources frequently are not treated with proper respect.

In addition to the obvious shock and burn hazards, there is also the likelihood of injuries incurred in trying to get away from the source of a shock. Cuts or bruises, and even serious and sometimes fatal falls, have resulted from otherwise insignificant shocks. Power supplies of 300 volts or more, with legal current capability, have the same hazards to an even greater degree. Because supplies in this category are considered Class C hazards, they must be treated accordingly.

High-voltage supplies that do not have dangerous current capabilities are not serious shock or burn hazards in themselves and are, therefore, often treated in a casual manner. However, they are frequently used adjacent to lower-voltage lethal circuits, and a minor shock could cause a rebound into such a circuit. Also, an involuntary reaction to a minor shock could cause a serious fall (for example, from a ladder or from experimental apparatus).

The following are additional safety considerations for power supplies:
Primary Disconnect
A means of positively disconnecting the input must be provided. This disconnect must be clearly marked and located where the workmen can easily lock or tag it out while servicing the power supply. If provided with a lockout device, they key must not be removable unless the switch or breaker is in the “OFF” position.
Overload Protection
Overload protection must be provided on the input and should be provided on the output.
Danger with Large Capacitors
This section describes the hazards associated with capacitors capable of storing more than 5 joules of energy.

  • Capacitors may store hazardous energy even after the equipment has been de-energized and may build up a dangerous residual charge without an external source; “grounding” capacitors in series, for example, may transfer rather than discharge the stored energy. Another capacitor hazard exists when a capacitor is subjected to high currents that may cause heating and explosion. At one time, capacitors were called condensers and older capacitors may still bear this label in diagrams and notices.
  • Capacitors may be used to store large amounts of energy. An internal failure of one capacitor in a bank frequently results in explosion when all other capacitors in the bank discharge into the fault. Approximately 10 sup 4 joules is the threshold energy for explosive failure of metal cans. Because high-voltage cables have capacitance and thus can store energy, they should be treated as capacitors.
  • The liquid dielectric in many capacitors, or its combustion products, may be toxic. Do not breathe the fumes from the oil in older capacitors.
Automatic Discharge
Permanently connected bleeder resistors should be used when practical. Capacitors in series should have separate bleeders. Automatic shoring devices that operate when the equipment is de-energized or the enclosure is opened should be used. In the case of Class C equipment with stored energy in excess of 5 joules, an automatic, mechanical discharging device must be provided that functions when normal access ports are opened. The device must be contained locally within a protective barrier to ensure wiring integrity and should be in plain view of the person entering the protective barrier so that the individual can verify its proper functioning. Protection also must be provided against the hazard of the discharge itself.

Safety Grounding
Fully visible, manual-grounding devices must be provided to render the capacitors safe while they are being worked on. Grounding points must be clearly marked, and caution must be used to prevent transferring charges to other capacitors.

Ground Hooks – All ground hooks must:
  • Have conductors crimped and soldered.
  • Be connected such that impedance is less than 0.1 ohms to ground.
  • Have the cable conductor clearly visible through its insulation.
  • Have a cable conductor size of at least #2 extra flexible, or in special conditions, a conductor capable of carrying any potential current.
  • Be in sufficient number to ground conveniently and adequately ALL designated points.
  • Be grounded and located at normal entryway when stored in such a manner to ensure that they are used.


In Class C equipment with stored energy in excess of 5 joules, a discharge point with an impedance capable of limiting the current to 500 amperes or less should be provided. This discharge point must be identified with a yellow circular marker with a red slash and must be labeled “HI Z PT” in large readable letters. A properly installed grounding hook must first be connected to the current-limiting discharge point and then to a low-impedance discharge point (less than 0.1 ohm) that is identified by a yellow circular marker. The grounding hooks must be left on all of these low impedance points during the time of safe access. The low-impedance points must be provided, whether or not the HI-Z current-limiting points are needed. Voltage indicators that are visible from all normal entry points should also be provided.

Capacitors used in parallel should be individually fused when possible to prevent the stored energy from dumping into a faulted capacitor. Care must be taken in placement of automatic-discharge safety devices with respect to fuses. If the discharge will flow through the fuses, a prominent warning sign must be placed at each entry indicating that each capacitor must be manually grounded before work can begin. Special knowledge is required for high-voltage and high-energy fusing.
Unused Terminal Shorting
Terminals of all unused capacitors representing a Class C hazard or capable of storing 5 joules or more must be visibly shorted.
Danger with Large Magnets
This section describes inductors and magnets that can store more than 5 joules of energy or that operate at 130 volts or more.

The following are some hazards peculiar to inductors and magnets.
  • The ability of an inductor to release stored energy at a much higher voltage than that used to charge it.
  • Stray magnetic fields that attract magnetic materials.
  • Time-varying stray fields that induce eddy currents in conductive material thereby causing heating and mechanical
  • Time-varying magnetic fields that may induce unwanted voltages at inductor or magnet terminals.
Automatic Discharge
Freewheeling diodes, varistors, thyrites, or other automatic shorting devices must be used to provide a current path when excitation is interrupted.
Particular attention should be given to connections in the current path of inductive circuits. Poor connections may cause destructive arcing.
Many inductors and magnets are liquid cooled. Thermal interlocks on the outlet of each parallel coolant path should protect the unit and a flow interlock should be included for each device.
Eddy Currents
Units with pulsed or varying fields should have a minimum of eddy-current circuits. If large eddy-current circuits are unavoidable, they should be mechanically secure and able to safety dissipate any heat produced.
The frames and cores of magnets, transformers, and inductors should be grounded.
Rotating Electrical Machinery
Beware of the hazard due to residual voltages that exists until rotating electrical equipment comes to a full stop.
Safety Design
Proper philosophy is vital to the safe design of most control applications. The following checklist should be used as a guide.
Interlock chains must be checked for proper operation after installation, after any modification, and during periodic routine testing.
Fail-safe Design
All control circuits must be designed to be “fail-safe.” Starting with a breaker or fuse, the circuit should go through all the interlocks in series to momentary on-off switches that energize and “seal in” a control relay. Any open circuit or short circuit will de-energize the control circuit and must be reset by overt act.
Interlock Bypass Safeguards
A systematic procedure for temporarily bypassing interlocks must be established. Follow-up procedures should be included to ensure removal of the bypass as soon as possible. When many control-circuit points are available at one location, the bypassing should be made through the normally open contacts of relays provided for this purpose. In an emergency, these relays can be opened from a remote control area.
Control power must be isolated from higher power circuits by transformers, contractors, or other means. Control power should be not more than 120 volts, ac or dc. All circuits should use the same phase or polarity so that no additive voltages (Class B or Class C hazard) are present between control circuits or in any interconnect system. Control-circuit currents should not exceed 5 amperes.
A keyed switch should be used in interlock chains to provide positive control of circuit use. To ensure power removal before anyone enters the enclosure, this same key should also be used to gain access to the controlled equipment.
Motor Control Circuits (Class B or Class C Hazards)
All Class B or Class C motor circuits must have a positive disconnect within view of the motor or, if this is not practical, a disconnect that can be locked open by the person working on these motor circuits is acceptable.
Overvoltage Protection
Control and instrumentation circuits used with high-voltage equipment must have provisions for shoring fault-induced high voltages to ground. High-voltage fuses with a high-current, low-voltage spark gap downstream from the high-voltage source are recommended. This also applies to all circuits penetrating high-voltage enclosures.
Voltage Divider Protection
The output of voltage dividers used with high voltages must be protected from overvoltage-to-ground within the high-voltage area by spark gaps, neon bulbs, or other appropriate means.
Current Monitors
Currents should be measured with a shunt that has one side grounded or with current transformers that must be either loaded or shorted at all times.
Instrument Accuracy
Instrumentation should be checked for function and calibration on a routine basis.
Radiation Hazards
This section covers radiation hazards that may be encountered in working with electrical equipment. The following information should be used as a rough guide to radiation safety.

Hazardous electromagnetic radiation must be isolated in shielded enclosures. Transmission paths of microwave energy must be enclosed or barricaded and well marked. Care must be taken to avoid reflecting energy out of this path. Suitable goggles must be worn where exposure is possible. Dose rated must not exceed those shown below.

When equipment capable of generating a radiation hazard is used, monitoring must be provided to detect and measure the radiation. Where personnel may be exposed, this monitoring equipment should be arranged to de-energize the generating equipment at a safe, preset level.
Equipment that produces x-rays (high-voltage vacuum tubes operating at more than 15,000 volts) or any equipment that under fault conditions could produce x-rays (e.g., spectrometers) must be isolated from personnel. This isolation may be by distance or by lead shielding. For any questions, call the Radiation Safety Officer. Barriers that are opaque to the radiation must isolate high-power sources of ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light. When a beam of this radiation is projected out of an enclosure, the beam path must be barricaded and well marked. Care must be taken to eliminate reflective surfaces along the beam path. Suitable goggles must be worn where exposure is possible.

More than 300 Volts
To work on systems with voltages greater than 300 volts (CLASS B or C HAZARD): Open the feeder breaker, roll out if possible, tag out, and lock in if in enclosure. If work is on circuits of 600 V or more, positive grounding cables should be attached to all three phases.

Tag should contain who, why, and when information and it is of vital importance because a person’s life may depend on it. “Vital” in this case means that the presence and status of the tag are inviolate, and the tag must not be altered or removed except by the person who attached it.

Less than 300 Volts
To work on systems with voltages less than 300 volts (CLASS A HAZARD): Turn off and tag the feeder breaker. Tag is inviolate except on projects where established circuit checkout procedure allows a qualified person to remove it and energize circuit after checkout is complete.
Motor Generator Systems
For motor or generator work, primary feeder breaker must be opened, tagged, and locked out if possible. For generator-load work, motor-start permissive key must be removed by person doing work and restored when work is complete.
High Voltage
To work on high voltage power supplies and enclosures, use Class B or Class C hazard procedure specified in the safety requirements. Access should always be by permissive key that interrupts input power when key is removed from control panel. Grounding of power supply output must occur either automatically when key is removed from control panel or manually before access door can be opened.

High Current
To work on high current power supplies (normally for magnets), treat system as a high voltage power supply if energy storage is 5 joules or more when system is off. If not, then requirements for working on magnet are as follows: If power supply is equipped with Kirk (trademark) or equivalent interlock, turn key and remove. This locks the input breaker in “off” position until key is reinserted and turned. If power supply is not equipped with a Kirk (trademark) or equivalent interlock, turn off and tag input circuit breaker.

Working on Power Supplies
The minimum requirements for working on any power supply is to turn power off and properly tag feeder circuit breaker external to power supply.
Electrical Lockout/Tagout Procedures
When you have to do maintenance work on a machine, take these four steps to protect yourself and your coworkers from injury. De-energize the machine, if possible. Positively disconnect the machine from the power source. If there is more than one source of power, then disconnect them all. If possible, lock out all disconnect switches. You must be given a lock and a key for each disconnect before you begin working on the machine.

Tag all disconnect switches. Use the yellow or red safety tags which state in large letters – “Danger . . . Do Not Operate”, or “Danger. . .Do Not Energize” and which give the name of the individual who locked out the equipment, date and time. The tag must also state “DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG.” (The person who placed the tag may remove it only after the machinery maintenance has been completed.

Test the equipment to ensure it is de-energized before working on it. First, attempt to operate the equipment by turning it on normally. Next, check all electrical lines and exposed areas with test equipment or a “lamp.” Finally, short to ground any exposed connections using insulated grounding sticks. This test must be done even if the electrical connection is physically broken, such as pulling out a plug, because of the chance of discharging components.


Many accidents occur at the moment of re-energizing. If the machinery is to be re-energized, all persons must be kept at a safe distance away from the machinery. The re-energization can be performed only by a person who either performed the lockout-tagout, a person acting under the immediate and direct command of the original lockout/tagout person or, in the event of a shift change or other unavailability of the original person, then the original shall, before leaving, appoint a surrogate original person and show him or her all steps taken to lockout/tag-out the equipment.

If you are having difficulty reading the document below a download link to the pdf is provided HERE.

Safety Guidelines

Charge From The Board Of Regents Campus Environmental Safety Coordinator

The Board of Regents (BOR) created an Environmental Safety Office in 1994 due to a variety of factors and now expects each university in the system to have a Campus Environmental Safety Coordinator to do the following:

  1. Provide Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) guidance to the campus senior administration and to all departments by developing, reviewing, and implementing EHS policy and guiding principles.
  2. Develop and maintain EHS programs on campus.
  3. Track and remain up-to-date on regulatory changes and developments.
  4. Provide leadership in building EHS programs by functioning as facilitator.
  5. Serve as EHS liaison with BOR Environmental Safety Office by coordinating report submission and required data.
  6. Arrange and conduct EHS training for campus personnel.
  7. Promptly investigate potential EHS problems and issues and coordinate corrective action and follow-up.
  8. Make EHS resources available to campus personnel.
  9. Review proposed construction and renovation projects for potential EHS issues.
  10. Conduct periodic inspections of campus laboratories and buildings to establish funding priorities or corrective action plans.
  11. Assist the State Fire Marshall in fire safety.
GSU Environmental Safety Guiding Principles

Georgia Southern University (GSU) follows the leadership of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in stating its strong commitment to the protection of the environment and human health in all of its operations. To fulfill this commitment, GSU recognizes that pro-active efforts must be taken to ensure that sound EHS planning must be integrated into every level of the GSU Administration decision-making. Effective EHS performance is important to GSU in relationship with students, faculty, staff, legislators, regulatory agencies and the general public. To assist this institution in meeting the mandate of the Board of Regents’ stated policy, the following guiding principles have been established. GSU shall:

    • Comply with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. In the absence of specific laws or regulations, good management practices shall be followed in order to avoid or reduce environmental risk;
    • Develop, follow and continuously improve environmental, health and safety procedures and practices for all facilities, projects and operations in support of GSU Mission Statement;
    • Perform periodic environmental, health and safety program reviews to correct deficiencies, establish goals and identify funding priorities;
    • Designate the Director of Environmental Safety to be in charge of environmental, health and safety affairs for the institution. This individual shall be a key member of the team empowered to promote environmental, health and safety awareness among all faculty, staff and students and provide appropriate resources for training and program implementation;
    • Design, construct and operate all facilities in a manner that protects human health, safety of the occupants and the environment. Environmental, health and safety considerations shall be an integral part of GSU master planning efforts;
    • Practice pollution prevention and waste minimization by recycling all appropriate materials, purchasing recycled products, substituting less hazardous materials and establishing micro-scale chemistry operations;
    • Recognize the interrelationship between energy and the environment and implement energy efficiency strategies, including purchasing / using alternative and clean-fueled vehicles, where appropriate;
    • Work cooperatively with government, industry and other appropriate organizations in developing reasonable environmental, health and safety strategies, which promote sustainable development and continual environmental improvement in local communities.

1. Environmental Safety Requirements

      • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – 40 CRF 460
      • Hazard Communication Standard – 29 CFR 1910.1200
      • Infectious Waste Notification – 40 CFR 60
      • Underground / Above ground Storage Tanks – 40 CFR 280
      • Bloodborne Pathogens – 29 CFR 1910.1030
      • Air Quality / Air Emissions Controls – 40 CFR 40 – 50
      • Laboratory Safety – 29 CFR 1910.1450
      • The Lead Standard / Lead Safety – 40 CFR 745/29 CFR 1910.1025
      • Asbestos Awareness – 29 CFR 1910.1001,1926, 40 CFR 760
      • Pesticide Standard – 40 CFR 150
      • Confined Space Entry Standard – 29 CFR 1910.146
      • Radiation Safety Standard – 10 CFR 20
      • Emergency Response Plan – 29 CFR 1910/40 CFR 260
      • The Formaldehyde Rule – 29 CFR 1910.1048
      • Lockout / Tagout Standard – 29 CFR 1910.147
      • Machine Guarding – 29 CFR 1910.123
      • General Office Safety – 29 CFR 1926.20
      • Personal Protection – 29 CFR 1910.132 – 136
      • Worker Safety – 29 CFR 1910
      • Fire Protection / Fire Extinguishers – 29 CFR 1910.155-7
      • Respiratory Protection – 29 CFR 1910.134
      • SPCC Regulation – 40 CFR 112
      • Universal Waste Regulations – 40 CFR 273
      • Water Quality

2. Environmental Management Programs to Meet the Requirements

In order to meet the above requirements, Environmental Safety will implement the following initiatives

  • Hazardous waste management
  • Develop waste management program
  • Provide waste jugs to generators
  • Explain the plan to faculty
  • Collect and transport waste to storage facility
  • Segregate waste
  • Test for pH and co-mingle certain waste
  • Fax inventory to disposal companies for quotes
  • Schedule pickup
  • Maintain waste site weekly inspection log
  • Conduct inspections
  • Hazard Communication Standard (RTK)
  • Revise Hazcom or RTK training
  • Develop a lesson plan for New Employees
  • Develop a lesson plan for Physical Plant Employees
  • Develop a lesson plan for Office Employees
  • Conduct training
  • Maintain documentation
  • Conduct inspections for MSDS compilation
  • Bio-medical or Infectious Waste Management
  • Develop bio-medical waste management program
  • Explain the plan to faculty
  • Segregate infectious waste from non-infectious waste
  • Collaborate with Physical Plant to establish collection sites
  • Find medical waste contractors
  • Define who will pay for the disposal
  • Study feasibility of site license depending on weekly waste amount
  • Keep records
  • Storage Tanks
  • Update the location and size of tanks in service (Physical Plant will help)
  • Obtain baseline leak test data for underground storage tanks
  • Verify that UST have spill prevention and vapor containment from GEFA
  • Keep monthly records for Title V compliance (Lynn Fail will help)
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Verify that staff involved in bio-hazardous activities know about Universal Precautions and Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Title V (Control and Monitoring of Air Emissions)
  • Review Title V Permit status for boilers, generators, etc.
  • Determine if emissions must be updated annually for Minors
  • If yes, update emission inventory
  • Verify that Physical Plant has all necessary Permits to Install and to Operate
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Revise laboratory safety manuals for Chemistry and Biology
  • Revise waste management in labs
  • Revise fume hood inspection
  • Revise laboratory inspections
  • Conduct inspections
  • Implement internet training and keep documentation
  • Lead Standard
  • Review present compliance to the standard
  • Maintain records of surveyed buildings for paint
  • Mention lead awareness during training
  • Maintain records of drinking water tests
  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Review compliance to the standard
  • Establish asbestos inspection protocol prior to construction projects
  • Mention asbestos awareness during training
  • Establish protocol for asbestos abatement
  • Keep records
  • Pesticide Awareness
  • Review pesticide standard compliance
  • Maintain records of licensed pesticide applicators (name and GA Number)
  • Mention that during training
  • Emphasize MSDS collection
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Review confined Space entry compliance
  • Radiation Standard
  • Review radiation compliance with the Radiation Safety Officer
  • List sources, location, researchers and disposal company
  • Mention that during training
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Update Emergency Response Plan
  • Review Emergency Response Plan with Public Safety and the local Fire Department
  • Conduct drills with local agencies
  • Lockout / Tag-out Standard
  • Review Lockout / Tag-out procedures with Physical Plant
  • Conduct refresher training with Electric Shop
  • Assist Physical Plant in setting up and implementing the program
  • General Office Safety
  • Design Office Safety training session
  • Conduct the training
  • Personal Protection
  • Establish a respiratory protection plan
  • Establish a hearing protection plan
  • Implement and monitor the plans
  • Fire Protection
  • Assist the Fire Marshall in building inspections
  • Check all fire extinguishers
  • Assist departments in relocating or adding fire extinguishers
  • Create and maintain a bar code system for fire extinguishers
  • Maintain Certificates of Occupancy
  • Assist departments in building occupancy and egress point requirements
  • Spill Prevention Containment and Countermeasures
  • Review the SPCC plan
  • Implement the plan through frequent inspections
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Develop building inspection plans to check mold
  • Document Asbestos abatement status
  • Document Lead compliance status
  • Assist Physical Plant in mold remediation
  • Water Quality
  • Verify storm water discharge points
  • Verify presence of monitoring wells
  • Verify the status of ponds, lakes, or rivers on campus
  • Check for ground water monitoring wells
  • Collaborate with regulatory agencies and local officials
  • Environmental Evaluations
  • Complete GEPA checklists and project evaluation forms before starting land disturbing activities or projects
  • Complete standard EPD notification form before demolishing property
  • Verify the non-existence of landfills, dump sites or buried debris on campus

Last updated: 8/29/2016

Environmental Health & Safety • PO Box 8012, Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-7161