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Electrical Incidents:
Equipment Not Used in Manner Prescribed

Am I In Danger?

If electrical equipment is used in ways for which it is not designed, you can no longer depend on safety features built in by the manufacturer. This may damage your equipment and cause employee injuries [for additional information, see Power Tools].

Common Examples of Misused Equipment

  • Using multi-receptacle boxes designed to be mounted by fitting them with a power cord and placing them on the floor.
  • Fabricating extension cords with ROMEX wire.
  • Using equipment outdoors that is labeled for use only in dry, indoor locations.
  • Attaching ungrounded, two-prong adapter plugs to three-prong cords and tools.
  • Using circuit breakers or fuses with the wrong rating for over-current protection, e.g. using a 30-amp breaker in a system with 15- or 20-amp receptacles. Protection is lost because it will not trip when the system's load has been exceeded.
  • Using modified cords or tools, e.g., removing ground prongs, face plates, insulation, etc.
  • Using cords or tools with worn insulation or exposed wires.

How Do I Avoid Hazards?

  • Use only equipment that is approved to meet OSHA
    standards [29 CFR 1926.403(a)].
  • Use all equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions [29 CFR 1926.403(b)(2)].
  • Do not modify cords or use them incorrectly [for additional information, see Flexible Cords].
  • Be sure equipment that has been shop fabricated or altered is in compliance.
Handy box improperly used as an extension cord receptacle
This "handy box" is being improperly used as an extension cord receptacle. It is made to be permanently mounted.


Safety Bulletin Sign
Equipment Not Used in
Manner Prescribed


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