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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course OSHA Electrical Safety for Healthcare Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Extension Cords

Electrical extension cords should NOT be used except in emergency situations. If an extension cord must be used in the workplace, these guidelines should be followed:
  • The extension cord must consist of at least 16 American Wire Gauge (AWG) wire and must contain a ground wire, indicated with the blue arrow in the top image.
  • It should NOT be fastened with staples or hung in any way that could damage the outer covering or insulation.
  • The extension cord must have only one outlet at the end. Do NOT "daisy chain" multiple extension cords or plug in power strips end-to-end, as shown in the lower image.
  • The wiring should be tested for physical integrity, polarity, and continuity of grounding at the time that it is used.
An electrical extension cord cannot be used as a substitute for appropriate distribution of electrical power.