(Toolbox Talk) Portable Electrical Appliances

Table of Contents
portable electrical appliances toolbox talk


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase hazard awareness of using and providing portable electrical appliances.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • PUWER. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Using portable electrical appliances at work

Electrical appliances used on site are subject to lots of rough handling and wear and tear. They can easily become worn and damaged. This can then make them lethal.
portable electrical appliances

All portable electrical appliances should be subject to regular inspection and maintenance – 5 steps to safety when used by a competent person. They must only be used at the correct voltages – this should be 110v maximum on a construction site.

Visual check of plug, cables, body, guards and accessories should be carried out before starting the job. If there is any damage or defect, then the item should be removed from service and reported immediately.


Check that suitable protection devices such as fuses, circuit breakers and residual current devices are in place, and that any fuses have the correct load ratings.

Only use portable electrical appliances for the purpose for which they were designed. Ensure switches are working properly at the earliest opportunity – before starting the task. Disconnect power tools when not in use.

All power tools must be properly earthed unless it is of an approved type that does not require earthing .e.g. double insulated equipment.

Use of portable electrical appliances will often require wearing of suitable Personal Protective Equipment such as eye and/or hearing protection – ensure that you wear them as required.

Never connect portable power tools to lighting sockets. Never use blunt, worn or damaged accessories.