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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Extension Cords



Even a simple extension cord needs to be looked after. It’s a shock or fire hazard when deteriorated, worn out, or used improperly.

Three-wire cords are for outdoor appliances and electric power tools. The third wire is a ground. Never plug these cords into an ungrounded electrical outlet.

Don’t disconnect an extension cord by pulling the cord. Remove it by the plug; otherwise the end frays and loosens.

Most industrial purposes require cords specified for either hard usage or extra hard usage. The word “outdoor” on the cord or the letters “WA” on the jacket identify approved cords.

Gauge size, strength, flexibility and ability to withstand chemicals determine a cord’s suitability. Here are more extension cord safety tips:

Protect flexible cords and cables from physical damage. Also check regularly for cut, broken, or cracked insulation. If cords pose a hazard, discard and replace them.

Electrical cords can become tripping hazards. Don’t run them through doorways, walls, windows, ceilings or floors. An extension cord should not run through an open window/door unless it is protected from being smashed or cut. Company policy states that all employees using electrical equipment or tools of any kind will be required to use company-approved GFCI or three ways.

Avoid plugging two cords together to make a longer one. Extension cords that are connected or too long will reduce operating voltage and efficiency of tools or appliances, perhaps damaging motors.

Even with proper care, extension cords can become damaged. Don’t take shortcuts or chances with electrical safety, and don’t rely on unsafe practices such as unauthorized “repairs” of electrical cords.

REMEMBER!!!! Protect yourself and others from electrical fires and electrical shock by looking after even a simple extension cord.