Now some other things, some other tangibles that can come into play. Certain workers may or may not be exposed to certain levels of hazard based on their job tasks. But the ones that are, have to be trained to identify when these risks rear their heads. You know, when they are in fact going to be exposed to what is deemed an unacceptable risk. In other words, we have to shut the power off, we have to make sure that is performed in what we they call an electrically safe work condition. That can't be something ambiguous, it has be laid out in the program as to whether or not people are, in fact, knowledgeable to make these determinations.

People need to be trained in the actual, as they say right here, or even potential hazards involved with a situation. You know, their knowledge base has to allow for them to recognize enough about what they're doing to be able to see when conditions have changed, you know, maybe when conditions have become significantly more dangerous and the untrained or the unqualified, to use their term, might not be expected to recognize the difference or that the conditions have evolved. The level of hazard, that's a given. You know, in many ways, people aren't fully aware of just how dangerous of a situation they're in when they're doing electrical work.

The connection, the relationship, if you will, between the degree or the level of hazard and the types of injuries that they could be exposed to. This one, I love seeing the reaction on people's faces when I show them the first...albeit, it's a mundane piece of equipment. There's nothing significantly, overtly powerful about it. It's a very typical industrial-rated disconnect switch. But I absolutely love seeing the reflection on their faces, especially from the ones that work around that exact same piece of equipment all the time. And they had no clue whatsoever that that piece of equipment could deliver such a significant fireball whenever it faulted out. There are a lot of people out there that are working under that false sense of security. They just absolutely have no idea how bad of a day they could have, working around these pieces of equipment that they work around every day.

Each and every employ exposed to the risks are required to be trained in the means of avoiding or mitigating the exposure to hazards. I mean, this could be a simple matter of the right way and the wrong way to lay down insulated blankets or establish contact barriers to where and inadvertent movement would prevent you from accidentally making contact or establishing some means of preventing the arc flash from developing. Once again, it's just a matter of, anyone who's exposed to the risks, whether or not they're electrical workers or not, have to be trained in how to mitigate these risks. And the level of their training, the level of their knowledge is mandated by the level and the depth of the work that they're going to be asked to perform. The training depends on a lot of factors.

Once again, what was the first thing that I said to be asked, you know, whenever everyone is questioning qualifications or training? What are they going to be doing? You know, it's a big industry. It's a very comprehensive, wide-ranging trade. To you have to be specific in your concerns so that you can be specific in your training requirements. Is the employee a manager, a supervisor or is it in fact one of the workers? Different job titles, different sets of responsibilities, whichever the case may be, are going to call upon different levels or are going to call for different levels of training. It's going to warrant different levels of training based on their job description and also the responsibilities that they carry.

A supervisor may or may not be required to possess the actual hands on skills, but they would most definitely be expected to know enough about the task to recognize whether or not the worker is, in fact, doing it properly, to recognize whether or not they're excising certain precautions or applying certain mitigating equipment in order to reduce the hazard. So, once again, you have to look at what are the expectations? What is the end goals for the training, to look at, you know, how in-depth and how detailed the training should be. If they're an unqualified person, you have a certain responsibility to them, in the fact that they're simply present in the facility. They are working around electrical equipment.

One of my favorite questions is, you know, to my workers, is, you're doing energized work, you're out in the middle of a plant, you have your barrier set up, you have your warning tape around your work area, you've established your arch flash boundary, you know full well not to get inside that boundary because when you do you are, in fact, being exposed an arc flash hazard, if the arc actually takes place. Could you honestly say that everyone in the plant who's an unqualified person, who isn't electrical worker, would know not to do that, know not to go through that ribbon? I've watched already look around...they'll look at the area, there's nobody there but yet it's taped off, and if there's no one around to stop them, they'll duck under and keep right on going, and have no idea whatsoever that they just walked into what could be a quite dangerous, if not deadly, environment.

So you have to ask these questions about the unqualified as well. It's not that we're going to ask them to do electrical work, but they're going to be around while it's taking place. Are they aware of the risks, the hazards of simply being in a certain proximity to where this work is taking place? Do said employees need to be a qualified person, or do they just need to be qualified for a specific task? There's a difference. You can teach and enlighten someone about the risks associated with, say, turning on a disconnector. But it's an altogether different task to try to qualify that person for actually working in a disconnector. So it calls for you to look at what level of knowledge does this person actually need for the task at hand, or is it just they need to be made aware of certain hazards that they're going to be exposed to.


Sorry, no comments found for this article