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Electrical safety on small construction sites
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Electrical safety on small construction sites

Death and serious injury can occur from exposure to electrical hazards on construction sites.

Electric shock is the main risk.

The harsh conditions on many construction sites can damage electrical equipment and cables, and reduce their lifespan.


Eliminate or minimise electrical safety risks

The risk of injury from electricity is strongly linked to where and how it is used. You must find out if there are any ways to eliminate or minimise electrical safety (and other) risks.

As part of ensuring health and safety on your site, at the start of every day check for new workers, new risks, new equipment, and any changes to the site layout.

You must provide workers with the information, training, instruction and supervision they need to work safely. This includes suitable training on electrical risks on site, so that everyone knows how these risks can be eliminated or minimised.

You must engage with workers and have effective worker participation practices. This means giving workers a reasonable opportunity to express their views and to raise work health or safety concerns. Consider what workers have to say – for example, when identifying electrical hazards and deciding how to eliminate or minimise risks. Their views can help you to improve work health and safety.

You and other PCBUs on site (eg contractors) must ensure any electrical equipment you use or provide is operated safety and maintained so that it remains safe.


Electric shock and serious injuries

You must notify WorkSafe if an electric shock exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to their health and safety, or if someone is seriously injured.

  • You must notify WorkSafe as soon as possible.
  • The notification must be made even if Emergency Services attend.

To notify WorkSafe ring 0800 030 040 or complete the online notification form.


This guide provides information about electrical supply and safety on small construction sites.

Electrical Safety on Small Construction Sites – Quick guide


It’s for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who manages or controls a small construction site. The guide has ideas to help you control electrical risks and protect workers who use electricity. The checklist in Section 6 will help you to decide whether you are doing everything you can to ensure that electricity is supplied and used safely.

The information in the Quick Guide is also available as a series of fact sheets.

Electricity Supply Arrangements on a Small Construction Site [PDF 96KB]

Set-up and Electrical Safety On Site [PDF 48KB]

RCDs, PSOAs, Leads, Cords, Plugs and Battery-Operated Equipment [PDF 342KB]

Checking Your Electrical Equipment is Safe [PDF 48KB]

Electrical Safety Checklist for Small Construction Sites [PDF 97KB]


For more information


Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)

Electricity Safety Regulations 2010


Worksafe resources


Last updated 16 February 2017


On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.