Improper Grounding


What Happened?

Four electricians were injured while installing grounding cables inside a load control center. One electrician inadvertently placed the grounding cable connecting rod on an energized stab.

Contributing Factors

Appropriate personal protective equipment was not consistently used. 

There was no written instruction governing the installation of safety grounds.

The workers were inexperienced and had not received training in ground techniques.

Pre-job briefing did not discuss error prevention techniques or relevant operating experience.

What Can We Learn?


Written instruction (Procedures) would have ensured the grounds were installed properly. 

A Questioning Attitude used consistently would have caused workers to question PPE requirements and error prevention techniques.

A Peer Check could have prevented the electrician from installing the ground on the energized stab.


These workers, with limited experience and training, received Vague Guidance for performing this task.

This task was being performed at a higher risk due to energized equipment in close proximity. (Physical Environment)

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?