Contractor Safety Share

Sharing safety information

Electricity Deserves Respect in All Forms

Electricity Deserves Respect in All Forms


An employee was working in a mechanical room on a scaffold about 10 feet from the floor.  The employee was using a battery powered screw gun when his arm bumped a ½ inch EMT conduit.  The conduit “sparked and popped” at a coupling that separated and gouged one of the wires inside the conduit.  In the heighten awareness of this incident, several other conduit separations were discovered.  The area was under a renovation and several similar incidents occurred during a previous renovation two years ago.  The concern for this incident is the potential for electrocution if the conduit became energized and circuit protection overload (breakers/fuses) would fail.  The chance of this happening is very small, but the fact it could happen by chance is the hazard we need to know and control.

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

  • The conduit separations are believed to be caused by physical damage or mechanical interference from other crafts.  The incidents occurred during major renovations with craft personnel working in areas with very limited space for employees, equipment and tools.
  • The sizes of the conduit involved were ½ or ¾ inch EMT conduit.  EMT stands for Electrical Metallic Tubing.  EMT conduit is not as strong as rigid conduit and the EMT couplings are a compression fitting where rigid couplings are threaded.
  • Never climb, step, crawl or walk on any conduit.  Never push, pull or lean a ladder against a conduit.  Conduit is not structurally designed to support any load other than the wires inside of them.  Give conduit the same respect you would for process piping or sprinkler lines.
  • If conduit is in your way, or your activity may physically contact conduit, discuss this with your supervisor.  An electrician may need to be consulted on moving or protecting the conduit. 
    If you would happen to damage or observe damaged conduit, report it to you supervisor immediately.
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

Comments are closed