You may not think much of taping up a dinged extension cord, but this common practice is not only dangerous, but it also could set you up for a hefty fine if an OSHA compliance officer sees it in use. Here are some serious reminders about electrical safety.

  • Splices to extension cords are not allowed, but OSHA will look more kindly on it if the splice is done by an electrician and covered with shrink-wrap rather than duct tape. Splices are required to have the same mechanical properties as the original cord.
  • Extension cords should be three-wire, made with at least 14-gauge wire.
  • Do not remove the "ground" prong on any tool cords or extension cords.
  • Do not use homemade junction boxes for "gang-box" power distribution.
  • Do not use Romex cable to make your own super-long extension cords.
  • Do not hot-wire compressors into service panels.
  • All temporary power must have ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) protection.
  • Check the polarity of all outlets in use. GFCI outlets won't do their job if polarity is reversed.
  • Do not modify electrical cords provided with power tools.
  • Floor-model shop tools should be equipped with individual breaker switches located at each piece of equipment.