Contractor Safety Share

Sharing safety information

Unprotected Live Cable Leads to Near Miss

The project manager on a demolition/renovation project was walking the job with the electrical foreman. During this walk, they encountered an electrical cable hanging at head level from the ceiling. The project manager grabbed the cable to tuck it back in the ceiling and keep it out of the way. While doing so, the bare wires in the cable came in contact with flexible conduit of an adjacent electrical cable. This contact resulted in an electrical arc and caused the breaker to be tripped.

Additional Information:


1.       Select demolition of electrical circuits had already taken place during this renovation.

2.       Because some circuits also fed areas outside the workspace, the circuits were traced to determine which lines could be de-energized for removal and which lines would remain active.

3.       It was determined that the electrical line question was not a line in the scope of the demolition phase. The line dropped from above the ceiling and was an existing line that was tucked behind pipes, conduit and other material. No contractors had worked on this line to this point in the project.

4.       The electrical cable was stowed above the ceiling with bare wires exposed.

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

1.       Always install wire nuts on all exposed electrical wires.

2.       Never assume that electrical lines are “dead”. Especially those with exposed wires.

3.       Always protect or terminate unused electrical lines.

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


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