Contractor Safety Share

Sharing safety information

Electrical Arc Near Miss

Electrical Arc Near Miss


  An electrician apprentice was working from a ladder installing an MC cable to a junction box. After reviewing the work and the safe to work permit (SWP), the apprentice climbed a ladder to remove the junction box cover. The apprentice tied in the MC cable and began to strip wire.  The junction box the employee was working in was for emergency lighting and was still hot. The employee did not verify the wires (confirm the wires were not hot) before beginning their work. When the employees wire pliers came into contact with the hot wire and ground wire, it arced. The employee was not shocked. The junction box for lighting that the employee was supposed to be connecting MC cable into was one foot away on another run of conduit. 

Factors to consider at your site and/or project include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Ensure clear communication between work groups.
  2. Follow the SWP.  If the work scope changes, stop work and revise the SWP.
  3. Before servicing or maintenance is performed which could expose the employee to any form of hazardous energy release, Lockout/tag out requirements must followed. 
  4. Apprentices should work directly under the direct supervision of journeyman or foreman
Consider this example as you complete today’s work activities.

Safety Flash Action Items:
  • Date Contractor Safety Flash posted for all employees to review: _______________
  • Safety Talk meeting date: _______________
  • Full employee attendance and participation at safety meeting to review this incident (documentation required).
  • Employees understand urgency in protecting themselves and others.
  • Supervisors and Employees are clear which items shared in this Safety Flash are mandatory.
  • Employees/Supervisors will focus on recommended actions during future work activities of a similar nature.
Contract Firm Management Rep Signature____________________

THINK about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.


If you have questions about this CONTRACTOR SAFETY FLASH, please contact



(This Safety Flash has been previously issued and is to be used for reference purposes only)


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