Labor wisely on Labor Day

Posted on Aug 25 2021 in Features, Heartland REMC
Power tools
If laboring this Labor Day, make sure to practice safety — especially around power tools and ladders.

For many people, Labor Day is a day of rest. For others, it’s a day to catch up on outdoor home projects before the season changes. Faulty extension cords are often a source of injury when working outside. So are metal ladders coming into contact with an electrical source. By following the tips below, you can “labor” safely on Labor Day.

Extension cords and power tools

  • Check power tools and electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition. Power tools should be designed for outdoor use.
  • Use extension cords designed for outdoor use if you will be using them outside. They are thicker, more durable and have features for preventing moisture damage.
  • Use three-wire extension cords with three-prong plugs.
  • Look for the amperage rating of the extension cord to make sure it will meet the power demand of the tool.
  • Do not plug one extension cord into another. Use the proper length for the job.
  • Never leave an open extension cord that is plugged into an outlet. Unplug the cord when you are finished using it.


  • Use fiberglass or wood ladders when working around overhead power lines or electrical sources. Metal ladders conduct electricity which can be fatal if the ladder comes into contact with electricity.
  • If you must use metal, carefully check the location of all overhead wires to avoid contact.
  • Lower the ladder when carrying it or moving it.
  • Never work on a windy day as a gust of wind could shift the ladder into an overhead wire.
  • When placing the ladder on the ground, make sure the distance to the nearest overhead wire is at least twice the length of the ladder.
  • Make sure the ladder is placed on solid, level ground to prevent sliding.