Electrical Safety Training

Source: AVO Training Institute, Inc.

By Dennis K. Neitzel, CPE

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There are many benefits to having well trained and qualified employees. One of the major benefits expressed by the industry is the reduction of unscheduled down time. Another major benefit is the safety of each of their employees. The more extensive the training program the better qualified the employee. It has been proven that the most effective training programs include a combination of lecture and hands-on instruction. As an example; an employee attends a class on circuit breaker maintenance and testing using the following agenda: (1) the instructor explains, in lecture, all of the maintenance and testing techniques; (2) the instructor then demonstrates those techniques on a circuit breaker; and (3) the employee performs hands-on maintenance and testing of the circuit breaker using the techniques that were presented and demonstrated. In this example, employees, on average, would retain at least 90% of what they were taught. This method of training has proven to be the most effective means for qualifying employees.

Qualified Employees
OSHA has given the industry several good mandated reasons for the training and qualification of employees. Because of this, the following information is provided so the reader can better determine whether or not a person is qualified.

The National Electrical Code® (NEC) and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.399 define a "Qualified Person" as: "One that is familiar with the construction and operation of the equipment and the hazards involved." OSHA also states: "qualified persons are intended to be only those who are well acquainted with and thoroughly conversant in the electric equipment and electrical hazards involved with the work being performed." The 2002 Edition of the NEC now requires a qualified person to have "received safety training on the hazards involved."

Since one of the three qualification requirements is being familiar with the hazards of the equipment, it must be addressed specifically. OSHA has provided strict guidelines for safety training that go hand-inhand with the qualification of an employee. The following quotes are provided in order to inform the reader of the OSHA mandates for training employees in the electrical field.

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