Electrical Shock


What Happened?

A Maintenance worker felt an electrical shock on his right hand while unplugging an extension cord from a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). At the time of the event, the individual was holding the power cord in his hands and tracing it back to the GFCI when the shock was received. He was taken to medical for an EKG, all results were normal, and the employee was returned to full duty.

Contributing Factors

A fine metal wire, which appears to have been previously used to attach a tag to the power cord, was positioned at the end of the plug and may have created an electrical path.

What Can We Learn?


Procedure states a visual inspection be performed to confirm safe condition of cord, plug, and receptacles, etc. prior to use.

A Self Check could have allowed him to perform this task in a different way and potentially ask for assistance from a co-worker due to the plug in location.


The plug location (Physical Environment) was located behind other equipment, causing him to blindly trace it down.

Overconfidence led to the maintenance worker to handle the electrical cord under the assumption that there was no danger for electrical shock.

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?