Working Outdoors and Extension Cords

Working Outdoors

Electrical hazards on construction or renovation sites or work performed outdoors must be controlled through the use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).

  • All 120-volt, single-phase, 15 or 20 ampere receptacles that are not part of permanent wiring must be protected by GFCIs.  (Receptacles on smaller generators are exempt under certain situations.  Consult with your supervisor or EHS with any questions.).
  • Light bulbs used for general illumination must be protected from breakage.
  • Temporary lights must not be suspended by their cords, unless so designed.
  • Portable lights or tools used in wet or conductive locations must be protected by GFCIs or operate at 12 volts or less.

Extension Cords

  • Workers must visually inspect extension cords and cord and plug connected equipment daily before use.   Damaged extension cords must be removed from service and destroyed.  Damaged or defective equipment must be removed from service and destroyed or repaired by a qualified electrician.
  • Extension cords must be three-wire type.  Extension cords or flexible cords used for lighting must be designed for hard or extra hard usage (e.g., types S, ST, SO)
  • Flexible cords must be connected to devices and fittings so that strain relief is provided and prevents pull from being directly transmitted to joints or terminal screws.


James McQuaid
Assistant Director

Kelly States
Associate Director