Skip to main content

Electrical Safety

Even if you are only using approved electrical equipment and tools in the manner that they were designed, a basic understanding of electrical safety is needed. The information presented on this page is available to ensure that you have the adequate information to safely use electrical equipment. Electrical safety training resources and OSHA requirements for certified equipment are also provided below.

Factors Involved in Electrical Shock

One of the main hazards of using electrically powered equipment is electric shock, which happens when current flows through the body due to contact or close approach to exposed or faulty circuit parts. There are 3 primary factors that affect the severity of shock injury a person receives when he or she becomes part of an electrical circuit.

Electrical Safety Training

For a comprehensive overview of basic electrical safety and things to consider while working with and around electricity and electrical equipment, EHS has developed an online course for Electrical Safety Awareness. This course can be found in the ATLAS Learning Center Course Catalog.

NOTE: If you plan to design, build or modify electrically powered equipment for your research you will need more advanced knowledge and training than is currently offered through MIT EHS.  Please contact environment@mit.edu if you have questions related to more in-depth electrical training needs or have plans to build or modify electrical equipment.

National Consensus Standards for Design and Installation

To safeguard against injury when using electrical equipment, requirements and standards have been established through the implementation of nationally recognized codes, approval tests, and electrical safety work practices. This is to ensure that you have adequate training and experience when handling electrical equipment.

All installed equipment must be tested and listed or labeled by one of these Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL)

All electrical equipment must be installed and maintained in accordance with the following standards:

National Electrical Code (NEC)® – supported by the NFPA provides electrical safety requirements for wiring methods used in the workplace, for live electric supply and communication lines and equipment for employees in the workplace.

Lockout/Tagout

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

As outlined under the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147, employers are required to examine machinery and equipment to determine what energy source needs to be controlled (lockout/tagout) and to develop an energy control program consisting of written:

  • Energy control procedures,
  • Periodic inspection, and
  • Training

We are required to adhere to the following standards, 29 CFR 1910.147 and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 70E which requires the control of hazardous energy sources. There are Lockout/Tagout training courses offered through the ATLAS Learning Center. If you need further assistance contact safety@mit.edu.

Basic Electrical Safety

Wiring, Grounding, Insulation

Even if you are only using approved electrical equipment and tools in the manner that they were designed, a basic understanding of electrical safety is needed. The information presented on this page is available to ensure that you have the adequate information to safely use electrical equipment. Electrical safety training resources and OSHA requirements for certified equipment are also provided below.

Factors Involved in Electrical Shock

One of the main hazards of using electrically powered equipment is electric shock, which happens when current flows through the body due to contact or close approach to exposed or faulty circuit parts. There are 3 primary factors that affect the severity of shock injury a person receives when he or she becomes part of an electrical circuit.

Electrical Safety Training

For a comprehensive overview of basic electrical safety and things to consider while working with and around electricity and electrical equipment, EHS has developed an online course for Electrical Safety Awareness. This course can be found in the ATLAS Learning Center Course Catalog.

NOTE: If you plan to design, build or modify electrically powered equipment for your research you will need more advanced knowledge and training than is currently offered through MIT EHS.  Please contact environment@mit.edu if you have questions related to more in-depth electrical training needs or have plans to build or modify electrical equipment.

National Consensus Standards for Design and Installation

To safeguard against injury when using electrical equipment, requirements and standards have been established through the implementation of nationally recognized codes, approval tests, and electrical safety work practices. This is to ensure that you have adequate training and experience when handling electrical equipment.

All installed equipment must be tested and listed or labeled by one of these Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL)

All electrical equipment must be installed and maintained in accordance with the following standards:

National Electrical Code (NEC)® – supported by the NFPA provides electrical safety requirements for wiring methods used in the workplace, for live electric supply and communication lines and equipment for employees in the workplace.

Lockout/Tagout

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

As outlined under the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147, employers are required to examine machinery and equipment to determine what energy source needs to be controlled (lockout/tagout) and to develop an energy control program consisting of written:

  • Energy control procedures,
  • Periodic inspection, and
  • Training

We are required to adhere to the following standards, 29 CFR 1910.147 and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 70E which requires the control of hazardous energy sources. There are Lockout/Tagout training courses offered through the ATLAS Learning Center. If you need further assistance contact safety@mit.edu.

Basic Electrical Safety

Wiring, Grounding, Insulation