Work related electrocutions involving portable power tools and appliances were investigated. A NIOSH and OSHA data base search from 1984 to 1986 identified 135 electrocution deaths. Of these, 102 electrocutions involved portable appliances and tools that used low voltage (110 volt AC), and 33 deaths involved welding equipment which operates on a higher voltage (220 volt AC or higher). All the victims were male. Of the 102 cases involving 110 volt AC, there were 51 deaths in the construction industry, 13 deaths in service industries, 13 deaths in manufacturing, and 25 deaths in other industries. Fifteen of the electrocutions in construction were in the plumbing industry. Powered hand tools, especially drills and saws, were involved in 58 deaths. The worker was standing in water or on a wet surface in 38 of the 135 cases. The authors conclude that proper provision of ground fault circuit interrupter protection on the work site and more effective use of administration and engineering controls could help prevent fatal injuries.