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#150407 - 03/23/05 01:00 PM "Qualified Employees"
danc Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 15
Hello all; I have some basic questions regarding electrcial safety in thwe workplace (non-utility)

OSHA defines qualified person as follows:
One familiar with the construction and operation of the equipment and the hazards involved.

OSHA then goes on to say that qualified persons must be provided training per subpart S.

I interpret this as follows: electrical safety training (as described in subpart S) alone does not make a person qualified (which seems to be a common misconception in my world).

Following this logic, what additional measures are needed to document/demonstrate that employees are qualified (other than safety training)?

For example, maintenance/facilities workers commonly need to troubleshoot any/all equipment in a building. When new equipment is brought in, how would I go about ensuring that they are indeed qualified to safely perform electrical work?

Hope this makes sense!

Thanks for any iput


[This message has been edited by danc (edited 03-23-2005).]

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#150408 - 03/23/05 04:26 PM Re: "Qualified Employees"
adamb Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Corinna, Maine, US
Hello danc I don't realy know the answer to your ? but wanted to say welcome to ECN. Hang around and pull up a chair, their is a great bunch of guys here.

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#150409 - 03/23/05 05:36 PM Re: "Qualified Employees"
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
"Qualified" is in the eyes of the employer. If he says you're qualified, you are- and he can't complain about the workers' comp bills if he's wrong.

As for specific equipment, the same generally applies- though, with the purchase of major equipment, the equipment manufacturer will typically train the customer's people.

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#150410 - 03/25/05 08:24 AM Re: "Qualified Employees"
safetygem Offline
Member

Registered: 01/30/02
Posts: 114
Loc: Ohio, USA
Sorry for the "late" post. Been busy.

Here's the deal with "qualified" people. This is what OSHA would call a "performance oriented" standard. Which means that it is important that the unique hazards of each workplace be used to determine the correct method of compliance.

So, "Reno" is correct with his short and to the point answer, the concept of qualified is technically determined by the employer. However, they must verify the compentency of the employees that they consider to be "qualified." The training must meet the very general requirements of 29 CFR 1910.332(b). http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9909#1910.332(b)

So... what does that mean? Well, basically, OSHA will look at NFPA 70E as guidance. But, technically 70E is not a "law" so, if an employer has come up with a training and information program that can be demonstrated to be the equivilant of this consensus standard, then OSHA is likely to accept it. For example, has the person been through a recognized apprenticeship program. Or, are they licensed in the state where they are working as a "qualified" person? Those may also be used as potential evidence that the person is "qualified."

Although it doesn't add much in the way of "new" information, here is a link to an OSHA letter of interpretation on this question: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21262

OSHA has even applied the concept of a "qualified" person to the resetting of a circuit breaker! http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=24009

Which brings us to second part of "reno's" comment:
 Quote:
the equipment manufacturer will typically train the customer's people


Just because a person is "qualified" doesn't make them "competent" to work on all equipment. Too often persons that might otherwise be "qualified" get in over their heads working on equipment that they have not been trained to service. This happens way too often, particularly with facilities maintenance staff.

I could go on longer, but, I don't want to get off track here. If you need additional clarification, give us another post.

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#150411 - 03/28/05 01:16 PM Re: "Qualified Employees"
danc Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 15
Thanks. Again, some good info.

Gem: how do you suggest that a company verify that a person is qualified?

OSHA requires that qualified employees have the skills to determine nominal voltage and the skills to destinguish live parts from others. How is this typically verified?

And;

take the example of a maintenance worker. how can he/she demonstrate "qualified employee" competancies on all possible electrical systems in a facility?

Sorry to keep beating this, but its not quite dead yet (to me anyway)!

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#150412 - 04/02/05 02:46 AM Re: "Qualified Employees"
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
DanC,
This is a rather interesting point that you raise here.
It makes me wonder, looking from the outside in
(I'm in NZ), why there is not a single Nation-wide measure of basic Electrical Competence, in the US?.
Say in the form of a certificate or a card after having sat a Practical test on simple things like LOTO and using Test Gear.
We've used a system like that for a few years now, here and it gives an employer an instant idea of how competent his prospective staff are.
No card, no start work, simple as that.
Safetygem,
 Quote:
Just because a person is "qualified" doesn't make them "competent" to work on all equipment. Too often persons that might otherwise be "qualified" get in over their heads working on equipment that they have not been trained to service. This happens way too often, particularly with facilities maintenance staff.

Yes, this too is a good point, I've been in this situation before, you can't know how everything in a plant works and it is not a nice feeling to repair a piece of equipment you've never even seen before, let alone worked on.

DanC,
 Quote:
Sorry to keep beating this, but its not quite dead yet (to me anyway)!

Hey, no worries mate.
Keep it up!.

Mike.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#150413 - 04/02/05 04:36 AM Re: "Qualified Employees"
drillman Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 97
Loc: Somewhere in Texas
Trumpy: to answer part of your question as to why there is no single nationwide safety standard in America. Thats easy.

There are pretty much no nationwide standards in America for anything. Drivers licenses on done on a state by state basis. Yes, it is true that each state will (general rule) accept another states drivers license as proof of competence the same is not true with other types of licenses.

Examples:
I have a Texas Masters Electrician license, some states will accept it and let me work there, with a fee of course. Others will not accept it and I must take the local test, with a fee of course. Funny thing is they all use the same code book. Yes, I know some amend it slightly.

Where I work there is a PE ,which means he is an engineer who took a long test. He got his license in California. Moved to Texas and they would not accept it. I am not sure of the details but he meet some requirements that Texas has that California did not.

Lets not even get started on building permits. Two buildings across a street across city limits can have widely varying inspection requirements

Its just the way it is here.

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