• 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.