The National Safety Council reports that about 1,000 people are electrocuted each year in the United States. OSHA specifies that all equipment in the workplace be grounded to avoid shock and possible electrocution.
Most people are not aware of the danger associated with ungrounded equipment. This danger is compounded when the plug is a two-prong unpolarized type. If inserted backwards, the case of the appliance can be electrically hot. We find many in labs that are 50 to 120 volts hot. If near a ground, serious or fatal shocks can occur.
Make sure that the ripple side of the appliance cord is connected to the wider side of the receptacle. A ground monitor can be use to ensure that the receptacle is correctly wired. An AC-Sensor can tell you if the case of the appliance or device is electrically hot or not. A Tension Tester will indicate if the receptacle is hold on to the plug’s prongs with
sufficient force to meet electrical code specifications.
The use of Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI's) can provide significant shock protection. They should be installed in any location where the receptacle is within six feet of a ground or water is likely to be present on the floor or surfaces.