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Course 809: Focus Four - Electrocution Hazards

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier


Hi, and welcome to the course. If you are a safety manager, supervisor, committee member, or someone who is entering into the occupational safety and health field, this course will help you understand your important responsibilities.

Here's how it works (Read this... it's important!)

  1. Study each course module. Just click on the course "Modules" tab above to get started. It take about 30 minutes to one hour to complete each module, including the quiz.
  2. Complete each module quiz. Each quiz is 5-10 questions. When you submit the quiz, a new web page will load with instant feedback on your answers. After you complete the quiz, start on the next module. There is no need to wait! No hurry either. You are in control of the pace of learning.
  3. If you have questions as you study, just send us an email.

    Course 809 Certificate
    Frame not included.
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    For individual courses, the PDF certificate is only $, the original certificate is $ (shipping extra), and the PDF & original certificate is $ (shipping extra).
  5. Complete and submit the final course exam.
    • The final exam consists of 10 questions.
    • To meet OSHA requirements, you must pass the final exam with at least a 70% score.
    • If you do not pass the exam, you may retake the exam.
    • If you pass the exam, you may not retake the exam just to raise your score.
    • Most final exam questions are derived from module quizzes.

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Have fun and study hard. To start, just click on "Introduction" above.

Focus Four - Electrocution Hazards


Welcome to Focus Four-Electrocution Hazards for the construction industry. This is the fourth course covering the hazards described in our Construction Focus Four Hazards series. Please be sure to complete the series by also taking courses 806, 807, and 808. The Focus Four Hazards series was developed in support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Outreach Program’s effort to help educate workers in the construction industry about:

  • understanding the hazards they face; and
  • knowing what their employer’s responsibilities are to protect workers from workplace hazards.

Construction is among the most dangerous industries in the country and construction inspections comprise 60% of OSHA's total inspections.

  • In 2013, preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were 796 fatal on-the-job injuries to construction workers – more than in any other single industry sector and nearly one out of every five work-related deaths in the U.S. that year.
  • Also in 2013, private industry construction workers had a fatal occupational injury rate nearly three times that of all workers in the United States: 9.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent construction workers vs. 3.2 for all workers.

Given current OSHA and industry information regarding construction worksite illnesses, injuries and/or fatalities, students that complete this course will be able to recognize fall hazards, caught-in or-between hazards, struck-by hazards, and electrocution hazards (focus four hazards) employees face in the construction industry.

Students completing the four courses in the Focus Four Hazards series will be able to recognize fall hazards, caught-in or-between hazards, struck-by hazards, and electrocution hazards employees face in the construction industry.

Specifically, once students complete the Focus Four Hazards series they will be able to:

  • Identify common focus four hazards.
  • Describe types of focus four hazards.
  • Protect themselves from focus four hazards.
  • Recognize employer requirements to protect workers from focus four hazards.


To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should begin with module one.

  1. What is an Electrocution Hazard?
  2. Protecting Yourself from Electrocution Hazards

Course 809 Final Exam

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of 70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry, if you fail the exam, you can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

If you have already paid for a Certificate Program

If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.

If you only want free training

After each exam, you will automatically receive an email that will confirm you have taken the final exam and it will ask you to review your results on your training dashboard.  If you did not pass the final exam you will see a "retake exam" link next to the course.  We do not provide exam scores unless you purchase a course or program certificate. You are welcome to take all of our courses for free. We only charge a fee if you want certificates and transcripts to document your training.

Take the Final Exam

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Course 809 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.


Acceptable: an installation or equipment is acceptable to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, and approved within the meaning of 29 CFR1926.449 Subpart K:

(a) If it is accepted, or certified, or listed, or labeled, or otherwise determined to be safe by a qualified testing laboratory capable of determining the suitability of materials and equipment for installation and use in accordance with this standard; or

(b) With respect to an installation or equipment of a kind which no qualified testing laboratory accepts, certifies, lists, labels, or determines to be safe, if it is inspected or tested by another Federal agency, or by a State, municipal, or other local authority responsible for enforcing occupational safety provisions of the National Electrical Code, and found in compliance with those provisions; or

(c) With respect to custom-made equipment or related installations which are designed, fabricated for, and intended for use by a particular customer, if it is determined to be safe for its intended use by its manufacturer on the basis of test data which the employer keeps and makes available for inspection to the Assistant Secretary and his authorized representatives.

Accepted: an installation is "accepted" if it has been inspected and found to be safe by a qualified testing laboratory.

Accessible (as applied to wiring methods): capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish, or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building. (See "concealed" and "exposed")

Accessible (as applied to equipment): admitting close approach; not guarded by locked doors, elevation, or other effective means. (See "Readily accessible")

Ampacity: the current in amperes a conductor can carry continuously under the conditions of use without exceeding its temperature rating.

Appliances: utilization equipment, generally other than industrial, normally built in standardized sizes or types, which is installed or connected as a unit to perform one or more functions.

Approved: acceptable to the authority enforcing 29 CFR 1926.449 Subpart K. The authority enforcing this Subpart is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The definition of "acceptable" indicates what is acceptable to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, and therefore approved within the meaning of this Subpart.

Askarel: a generic term for a group of nonflammable synthetic chlorinated hydrocarbons used as electrical insulating media. Askarels of various compositional types are used. Under arcing conditions the gases produced, while consisting predominantly of noncombustible hydrogen chloride, can include varying amounts of combustible gases depending upon the askarel type.

Attachment plug (Plug cap) (Cap): A device which, by insertion in a receptacle, establishes connection between the conductors of the attached flexible cord and the conductors connected permanently to the receptacle.

Automatic: self-acting, operating by its own mechanism when actuated by some impersonal influence, as for example, a change in current strength, pressure, temperature, or mechanical configuration.

Bare conductor: see "Conductor".

Bonding: the permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path which will assure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely to be imposed.

Bonding jumper: A reliable conductor to assure the required electrical conductivity between metal parts required to be electrically connected.

Branch circuit: the circuit conductors between the final overcurrent device protecting the circuit and the outlet(s).

Building: a structure which stands alone or which is cut off from adjoining structures by fire walls with all openings therein protected by approved fire doors.

Cabinet: an enclosure designed either for surface or flush mounting, and provided with a frame, mat, or trim in which a swinging door or doors are or may be hung.

Certified: equipment is "certified" if it:

(a) Has been tested and found by a qualified testing laboratory to meet applicable test standards or to be safe for use in a specified manner, and

(b) Is of a kind whose production is periodically inspected by a qualified testing laboratory. Certified equipment must bear a label, tag, or other record of certification.

Circuit breaker: (a) (600 volts nominal or less) a device designed to open and close a circuit by non-automatic means and to open the circuit automatically on a predetermined overcurrent without injury to itself when properly applied within its rating.

(b) (over 600 volts, nominal) a switching device capable of making, carrying, and breaking currents under normal circuit conditions, and also making, carrying for a specified time, and breaking currents under specified abnormal circuit conditions, such as those of short circuit.

Class I locations: Class I locations are those in which flammable gases or vapors are or may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures. Class I locations include the following:

(a) Class I, Division 1. A Class I, Division 1 location is a location:

(1) In which ignitable concentrations of flammable gases or vapors may exist under normal operating conditions; or

(2) In which ignitable concentrations of such gases or vapors may exist frequently because of repair or maintenance operations or because of leakage; or

(3) In which breakdown or faulty operation of equipment or processes might release ignitable concentrations of flammable gases or vapors, and might also cause simultaneous failure of electric equipment.

NOTE: This classification usually includes locations where volatile flammable liquids or liquefied flammable gases are transferred from one container to another; interiors of spray booths and areas in the vicinity of spraying and painting operations where volatile flammable solvents are used; locations containing open tanks or vats of volatile flammable liquids; drying rooms or compartments for the evaporation of flammable solvents; inadequately ventilated pump rooms for flammable gas or for volatile flammable liquids; and all other locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable vapors or gases are likely to occur in the course of normal operations.

(b) Class I, Division 2. A Class I, Division 2 location is a location:

(1) In which volatile flammable liquids or flammable gases are handled, processed, or used, but in which the hazardous liquids, vapors, or gases will normally be confined within closed containers or closed systems from which they can escape only in case of accidental rupture or breakdown of such containers or systems, or in case of abnormal operation of equipment; or

(2) In which ignitable concentrations of gases or vapors are normally prevented by positive mechanical ventilation, and which might become hazardous through failure or abnormal operations of the ventilating equipment; or

(3) That is adjacent to a Class I, Division 1 location, and to which ignitable concentrations of gases or vapors might occasionally be communicated unless such communication is prevented by adequate positive-pressure ventilation from a source of clean air, and effective safeguards against ventilation failure are provided.

NOTE: This classification usually includes locations where volatile flammable liquids or flammable gases or vapors are used, but which would become hazardous only in case of an accident or of some unusual operating condition. The quantity of flammable material that might escape in case of accident, the adequacy of ventilating equipment, the total area involved, and the record of the industry or business with respect to explosions or fires are all factors that merit consideration in determining the classification and extent of each location.

Piping without valves, checks, meters, and similar devices would not ordinarily introduce a hazardous condition even though used for flammable liquids or gases. Locations used for the storage of flammable liquids or of liquefied or compressed gases in sealed containers would not normally be considered hazardous unless also subject to other hazardous conditions.

Electrical conduits and their associated enclosures separated from process fluids by a single seal or barrier are classed as a Division 2 location if the outside of the conduit and enclosures is a nonhazardous location.

Class II locations: Class II locations are those that are hazardous because of the presence of combustible dust. Class II locations include the following:

(a) Class II, Division 1. A Class II, Division 1 location is a location:

(1) In which combustible dust is or may be in suspension in the air under normal operating conditions, in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures; or

(2) Where mechanical failure or abnormal operation of machinery or equipment might cause such explosive or ignitable mixtures to be produced, and might also provide a source of ignition through simultaneous failure of electric equipment, operation of protection devices, or from other causes, or

(3) In which combustible dusts of an electrically conductive nature may be present.

NOTE: Combustible dusts which are electrically nonconductive include dusts produced in the handling and processing of grain and grain products, pulverized sugar and cocoa, dried egg and milk powders, pulverized spices, starch and pastes, potato and woodflour, oil meal from beans and seed, dried hay, and other organic materials which may produce combustible dusts when processed or handled. Dusts containing magnesium or aluminum are particularly hazardous and the use of extreme caution is necessary to avoid ignition and explosion.

(b) Class II, Division 2. A Class II, Division 2 location is a location in which:

(1) Combustible dust will not normally be in suspension in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures, and dust accumulations are normally insufficient to interfere with the normal operation of electrical equipment or other apparatus; or

(2) Dust may be in suspension in the air as a result of infrequent malfunctioning of handling or processing equipment, and dust accumulations resulting therefrom may be ignitable by abnormal operation or failure of electrical equipment or other apparatus.

NOTE: This classification includes locations where dangerous concentrations of suspended dust would not be likely but where dust accumulations might form on or in the vicinity of electric equipment. These areas may contain equipment from which appreciable quantities of dust would escape under abnormal operating conditions or be adjacent to a Class II Division 1 location, as described above, into which an explosive or ignitable concentration of dust may be put into suspension under abnormal operating conditions.

Class III locations: Class III locations are those that are hazardous because of the presence of easily ignitable fibers or flyings but in which such fibers or flyings are not likely to be in suspension in the air in quantities sufficient to produce ignitable mixtures. Class 111 locations include the following:

(a) Class III, Division 1. A Class III, Division 1 location is a location in which easily ignitable fibers or materials producing combustible flyings are handled, manufactured, or used.

NOTE: Easily ignitable fibers and flyings include rayon, cotton (including cotton linters and cotton waste), sisal or henequen, istle, jute, hemp, tow, cocoa fiber, oakum, baled waste kapok, Spanish moss, excelsior, sawdust, woodchips, and other material of similar nature.

(b) Class III, Division 2. A Class III, Division 2 location is a location in which easily ignitable fibers are stored or handled, except in process of manufacture.

Collector ring: a collector ring is an assembly of slip rings for transferring electrical energy from a stationary to a rotating member.

Concealed: rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building. Wires in concealed raceways are considered concealed, even though they may become accessible by withdrawing them. [see "Accessible (as applied to wiring methods)"]

Conductor: (a) Bare. A conductor having no covering or electrical insulation whatsoever.

(b) Covered. A conductor encased within material of composition or thickness that is not recognized as electrical insulation.

(c) Insulated. A conductor encased within material of composition and thickness that is recognized as electrical insulation.

Controller: a device or group of devices that serves to govern, in some predetermined manner, the electric power delivered to the apparatus to which it is connected.

Covered conductor. See "Conductor."

Cutout (over 600 volts, nominal): an assembly of a fuse support with either a fuseholder, fuse carrier, or disconnecting blade. The fuseholder or fuse carrier may include a conducting element (fuse link), or may act as the disconnecting blade by the inclusion of a nonfusible member.

Cutout box: An enclosure designed for surface mounting and having swinging doors or covers secured directly to and telescoping with the walls of the box proper. (See "Cabinet")

Damp location: see "Location".

Dead front: without live parts exposed to a person on the operating side of the equipment.

Device: a unit of an electrical system which is intended to carry but not utilize electric energy.

Disconnecting means: a device, or group of devices, or other means by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from their source of supply.

Disconnecting (or isolating) switch (over 600 volts, nominal): a mechanical switching device used for isolating a circuit or equipment from a source of power.

Dry location: see "Location".

Enclosed: surrounded by a case, housing, fence or walls which will prevent persons from accidentally contacting energized parts.

Enclosure: the case or housing of apparatus, or the fence or walls surrounding an installation to prevent personnel from accidentally contacting energized parts, or to protect the equipment from physical damage.

Equipment: a general term including material, fittings, devices, appliances, fixtures, apparatus, and the like, used as a part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation.

Equipment grounding conductor: see "Grounding conductor, equipment".

Explosion-proof apparatus: apparatus enclosed in a case that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a specified gas or vapor which may occur within it and of preventing the ignition of a specified gas or vapor surrounding the enclosure by sparks, flashes, or explosion of the gas or vapor within, and which operates at such an external temperature that it will not ignite a surrounding flammable atmosphere.

Exposed (as applied to live parts): capable of being inadvertently touched or approached nearer than a safe distance by a person. It is applied to parts not suitably guarded, isolated, or insulated. (See "Accessible" and "Concealed")

Exposed (as applied to wiring methods): on or attached to the surface or behind panels designed to allow access. [See "Accessible (as applied to wiring methods)"]

Exposed (for the purposes of § 1926.408(d), Communications systems): where the circuit is in such a position that in case of failure of supports or insulation, contact with another circuit may result.

Externally operable: capable of being operated without exposing the operator to contact with live parts.

Feeder: all circuit conductors between the service equipment, or the generator switchboard of an isolated plant, and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.

Festoon lighting: a string of outdoor lights suspended between two points more than 15 feet (4.57 m) apart.

Fitting: an accessory such as a locknut, bushing, or other part of a wiring system that is intended primarily to perform a mechanical rather than an electrical function.

Fuse: (over 600 volts, nominal): an overcurrent protective device with a circuit opening fusible part that is heated and severed by the passage of overcurrent through it. A fuse comprises all the parts that form a unit capable of performing the prescribed functions. It may or may not be the complete device necessary to connect it into an electrical circuit.

Ground: a conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

Grounded: connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

Grounded, effectively (over 600 volts, nominal): permanently connected to earth through a ground connection of sufficiently low impedance and having sufficient ampacity that ground fault current which may occur cannot build up to voltages dangerous to personnel.

Grounded conductor: a system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded.

Grounding conductor: a conductor used to connect equipment or the grounded circuit of a wiring system to a grounding electrode or electrodes.

Grounding conductor, equipment: the conductor used to connect the noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures to the system grounded conductor and/or the grounding electrode conductor at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system.

Grounding electrode conductor: the conductor used to connect the grounding electrode to the equipment grounding conductor and/or to the grounded conductor of the circuit at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system.

Ground-fault circuit interrupter: a device for the protection of personnel that functions to de-energize a circuit or portion thereof within an established period of time when a current to ground exceeds some predetermined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protective device of the supply circuit.

Guarded: covered, shielded, fenced, enclosed, or otherwise protected by means of suitable covers, casings, barriers, rails, screens, mats, or platforms to remove the likelihood of approach to a point of danger or contact by persons or objects.

Hoistway: any shaftway, hatchway, well hole, or other vertical opening or space in which an elevator or dumbwaiter is designed to operate.

Identified (conductors or terminals): identified, as used in reference to a conductor or its terminal, means that such conductor or terminal can be recognized as grounded.

Identified (for the use): recognized as suitable for the specific purpose, function, use, environment, application, etc. where described as a requirement in this standard. Suitability of equipment for a specific purpose, environment, or application is determined by a qualified testing laboratory where such identification includes labeling or listing.

Insulated conductor: see "Conductor".

Interrupter switch (over 600 volts, nominal): a switch capable of making, carrying, and interrupting specified currents.

Intrinsically safe equipment and associated wiring: equipment and associated wiring in which any spark or thermal effect, produced either normally or in specified fault conditions, is incapable, under certain prescribed test conditions, of causing ignition of a mixture of flammable or combustible material in air in its most easily ignitable concentration.

Isolated: not readily accessible to persons unless special means for access are used.

Isolated power system: a system comprising an isolating transformer or its equivalent, a line isolation monitor, and its ungrounded circuit conductors.

Labeled: equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol or other identifying mark of a qualified testing laboratory which indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner.

Lighting outlet: an outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder, a lighting fixture, or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.

Listed: equipment or materials included in a list published by a qualified testing laboratory whose listing states either that the equipment or material meets appropriate standards or has been tested and found suitable for use in a specified manner.

Location: (a) Damp location. Partially protected locations under canopies, marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations, and interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as some basements.

(b) Dry location. A location not normally subject to dampness or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction.

(c) Wet location. Installations underground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth, and locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as locations exposed to weather and unprotected.

Mobile X-ray: x-ray equipment mounted on a permanent base with wheels and/or casters for moving while completely assembled.

Motor control center: an assembly of one or more enclosed sections having a common power bus and principally containing motor control units.

Outlet: a point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

Overcurrent: any current in excess of the rated current of equipment or the ampacity of a conductor. It may result from overload (see definition), short circuit, or ground fault. A current in excess of rating may be accommodated by certain equipment and conductors for a given set of conditions. Hence the rules for overcurrent protection are specific for particular situations.

Overload: operation of equipment in excess of normal, full load rating, or of a conductor in excess of rated ampacity which, when it persists for a sufficient length of time, would cause damage or dangerous overheating. A fault, such as a short circuit or ground fault, is not an overload. (See "Overcurrent")

Panelboard: a single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel; including buses, automatic overcurrent devices, and with or without switches for the control of light, heat, or power circuits; designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box placed in or against a wall or partition and accessible only from the front. (See "Switchboard.")

Portable X-ray: x-ray equipment designed to be hand-carried.

Power fuse (over 600 volts, nominal): see "Fuse".

Power outlet: an enclosed assembly which may include receptacles, circuit breakers, fuseholders, fused switches, buses and watt-hour meter mounting means; intended to serve as a means for distributing power required to operate mobile or temporarily installed equipment.

Premises wiring system: that interior and exterior wiring, including power, lighting, control, and signal circuit wiring together with all of its associated hardware, fittings, and wiring devices, both permanently and temporarily installed, which extends from the load end of the service drop, or load end of the service lateral conductors to the outlet(s). Such wiring does not include wiring internal to appliances, fixtures, motors, controllers, motor control centers, and similar equipment.

Qualified person: one familiar with the construction and operation of the equipment and the hazards involved.

Qualified testing laboratory: a properly equipped and staffed testing laboratory which has capabilities for and which provides the following services:

(a) Experimental testing for safety of specified items of equipment and materials referred to in this standard to determine compliance with appropriate test standards or performance in a specified manner;

(b) Inspecting the run of such items of equipment and materials at factories for product evaluation to assure compliance with the test standards;

(c) Service-value determinations through field inspections to monitor the proper use of labels on products and with authority for recall of the label in the event a hazardous product is installed;

(d) Employing a controlled procedure for identifying the listed and/or labeled equipment or materials tested; and

(e) Rendering creditable reports or findings that are objective and without bias of the tests and test methods employed.

Raceway: a channel designed expressly for holding wires, cables, or busbars, with additional functions as permitted in this subpart. Raceways may be of metal or insulating material, and the term includes rigid metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquidtight flexible metal conduit, flexible metallic tubing, flexible metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, underfloor raceways, cellular concrete floor raceways, cellular metal floor raceways, surface raceways, wireways, and busways.

Readily accessible: capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections, without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, chairs, etc. (See "Accessible")

Receptacle: a receptacle is a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of a single attachment plug. A single receptacle is a single contact device with no other contact device on the same yoke. A multiple receptacle is a single device containing two or more receptacles.

Receptacle outlet: an outlet where one or more receptacles are installed.

Remote-control circuit: any electric circuit that controls any other circuit through a relay or an equivalent device.

Sealable equipment: equipment enclosed in a case or cabinet that is provided with a means of sealing or locking so that live parts cannot be made accessible without opening the enclosure. The equipment may or may not be operable without opening the enclosure.

Separately derived system: a premises wiring system whose power is derived from generator, transformer, or converter windings and has no direct electrical connection, including a solidly connected grounded circuit conductor, to supply conductors originating in another system.

Service conductors: the supply conductors that extend from the street main or from transformers to the service equipment of the premises supplied.

Service drop: the overhead service conductors from the last pole or other aerial support to and including the splices, if any, connecting to the service-entrance conductors at the building or other structure.

Service-entrance conductors, overhead system: the service conductors between the terminals of the service equipment and a point usually outside the building, clear of building walls, where joined by tap or splice to the service drop.

Service-entrance conductors, underground system: the service conductors between the terminals of the service equipment and the point of connection to the service lateral. Where service equipment is located outside the building walls, there may be no service-entrance conductors, or they may be entirely outside the building.

Service equipment: the necessary equipment, usually consisting of a circuit breaker or switch and fuses, and their accessories, located near the point of entrance of supply conductors to a building or other structure, or an otherwise defined area, and intended to constitute the main control and means of cutoff of the supply.

Service raceway: the raceway that encloses the service-entrance conductors.

Signaling circuit: any electric circuit that energizes signaling equipment.

Switchboard: a large single panel, frame, or assembly of panels which have switches, buses, instruments, overcurrent and other protective devices mounted on the face or back or both. Switchboards are generally accessible from the rear as well as from the front and are not intended to be installed in cabinets. (See "Panelboard")

Switches: (a) General-use switch. A switch intended for use in general distribution and branch circuits. It is rated in amperes, and it is capable of interrupting its rated current at its rated voltage.

(b) General-use snap switch. A form of general-use switch so constructed that it can be installed in flush device boxes or on outlet box covers, or otherwise used in conjunction with wiring systems recognized by this subpart.

(c) Isolating switch. A switch intended for isolating an electric circuit from the source of power. It has no interrupting rating, and it is intended to be operated only after the circuit has been opened by some other means.

(d) Motor-circuit switch. A switch, rated in horsepower, capable of interrupting the maximum operating overload current of a motor of the same horsepower rating as the switch at the rated voltage.

Switching devices (over 600 volts, nominal): devices designed to close and/or open one or more electric circuits. Included in this category are circuit breakers, cutouts, disconnecting (or isolating) switches, disconnecting means, and interrupter switches.

Transportable X-ray: x-ray equipment installed in a vehicle or that may readily be disassembled for transport in a vehicle.

Utilization equipment: utilization equipment means equipment which utilizes electric energy for mechanical, chemical, heating, lighting, or similar useful purpose.

Utilization system: a utilization system is a system which provides electric power and light for employee workplaces, and includes the premises wiring system and utilization equipment.

Ventilated: provided with a means to permit circulation of air sufficient to remove an excess of heat, fumes, or vapors.

Volatile flammable liquid: a flammable liquid having a flash point below 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) or whose temperature is above its flash point, or a Class II combustible liquid having a vapor pressure not exceeding 40 psia (276 kPa) at 38 deg. C (100 deg. F) whose temperature is above its flash point.

Voltage (of a circuit): the greatest root-mean-square (effective) difference of potential between any two conductors of the circuit concerned.

Voltage, nominal: a nominal value assigned to a circuit or system for the purpose of conveniently designating its voltage class (as 120/240, 480Y/277, 600, etc.). The actual voltage at which a circuit operates can vary from the nominal within a range that permits satisfactory operation of equipment.

Voltage to ground: for grounded circuits, the voltage between the given conductor and that point or conductor of the circuit that is grounded; for ungrounded circuits, the greatest voltage between the given conductor and any other conductor of the circuit.

Watertight: so constructed that moisture will not enter the enclosure.

Weatherproof: so constructed or protected that exposure to the weather will not interfere with successful operation. Rainproof, raintight, or watertight equipment can fulfill the requirements for weatherproof where varying weather conditions other than wetness, such as snow, ice, dust, or temperature extremes, are not a factor.

Source for definitions: 29 CFR 1926, i.e. OSHA’s definitions for terms in the construction industry


  1. OSHA Training Institute. (2011). Construction Focus Four: Caught-In or –Between Hazards. Instructor Guide. Retrieved from: