Who is Best Qualified to Maintain Safety Regulations?

By Lee Marchessault - Published on May 21, 2016 4:33 am

Many companies hire licensed electricians to fill their maintenance needs making the assumption that they are qualified. This may be true, but more often than not, they are not safety qualified. On the flip side, a qualified electrical worker does not need to hold an electrician’s license or similar certification. Another misconception involves a person working on a manufacturing line doing regular electrical testing to ensure the equipment manufactured is functioning properly. Some feel this person would not be considered qualified; so rules for qualified workers related to the level of training are not required. In both cases, there are minimum requirements set forth by OSHA. A qualified worker is defined by OSHA in 2007 as, “One who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations and the hazards involved”.

The term that is critical in the development of an effective training program and which requires regular employee observation is the word “demonstrated”. OSHA will look for documentation to determine if your qualified employees have demonstrated their skills and knowledge especially if they identified a deficiency in work practices or procedures during their observation.

In our next blog post, we will discuss Qualified Workers and Risk Assessments.

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Written by: Lee Marchessault, CUSA, CUSP

Lee Marchessault has nearly 30 years of experience in the Electric Utility Industry. He is now a Safety Consultant and the President of Workplace Safety Solutions, Inc. where he continues to work with many utilities and general industry in and outside the United States.

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