A qualified worker is someone who is so determined to be able to perform these tasks would know how to do a proper job briefing. He will know enough about the job that he could talk with other people that are going to be involved with the process and walk through what's about to take place. He could describe the procedures. He could point the hazards associated with it. He understands the documentation associated with it. He understands the equipment enough to know what the maintenance requirement would be on it. All these things are the so-called tangibles that need to be looked at, as to what skill-set or what knowledge set does this person possess, with regards to what it is we're asking him to do.

Qualified Person Decision Tree

Last but no least here, the simple things. Using a cord-and-plug-connected equipment, knowing when grounding protective equipment is required, knowing how it works, knowing, you know, what condition under which you can't necessarily rely on grounding protection, when it's mandated. Once again, fundamental knowledge. The kinds of things that your typical every day worker can't necessarily be expected to draw on without having, you know, necessarily going through some task-specific training in the past. That being said, here's a little, what we call a decision tree that would probably will go a long way in helping the powers that be or whoever is tasked with making this decision determine whether or not a person is, in fact, qualified.

Basic ingredient, we talked about it right out of the gate, of course they have to be trained. What does trained mean? Well, not only have they been taught, have they learned? You know, what is our tool, what is our gauge that we've relied on to judge or find out, you know, exactly, did anything sink in? Did this person actually acquire knowledge or did he just sit here in our room for a day or two and go through the motions? Also, remember our magic word, can they demonstrate the ability to perform these tasks safely? Can they demonstrate that when opening this cabinet, when removing this cover, that they do, in fact, recognize which part of this equipment is deadly and which part's not? Where can I reach? Where can I not? Very detailed assessment, based on this relatively simple word, you know, whether or not they've been trained.

Another one. Are they able to understand and recognize the hazards, both the basic and also the specific hazards, associated with electrical in general, but also, as we just said, with the task at hand? Well, in many ways, the demand, the responsibility, when it falls on us is, do we know enough about it? Or whoever we have assigned the task of making this assessment, do they know enough about the task at hand to determine whether or not this person in question knows enough about it? It is a difficult assessment to make, in many ways, especially depending on some of the equipment, some of the tasks that they may be performing.

Are they able, capable, of performing the procedures and policies necessary, depending on whether doing this work there're going to be certain mandated practices, both through established repair or maintenance procedures, but also through certain safety policies that are in place, to make sure that the worker and the people around the worker are protected from what is taking place? Do they know how to protect, you know, people from the exposure of these potential hazards and not just forget that it's just not about their own safety? One of the things that I always, always, always point out to my workers is, when you remove a cover, when you open up a door and you expose energized components, you own that. 

You're the qualified the person. You're the one who created the risk. You're the one that is exposing this hazard. You own the responsibility of making sure that, not only you and the people you're working with, are protected from that, but anyone else who can come be bopping into your area. You also have the responsibility of protecting them. And it's a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. And as far as determining their qualifications, it's something you have to weigh, do they know how to do this properly? This is one I really didn't mention, but it is one of the specific criteria that's mentioned in the 70E document, as to whether or not somebody is qualified.

Is this person able, capable, and knowledgeable in methods of release? We've all heard the horror stories of workers getting hang up on energized pieces of equipment. There's so much current flowing through their body that they can't let go. Obviously, there's a right way and a wrong way to help a person like that. And part of the mandated safety training is, someone who is being deemed qualified will know and understand both what these methods are and how to utilize them, how to implement them. 

Last thing I want to point out, or the first thing I want to point out...and this one here is actually the last topic is...it says, "When first responder..." They just changed this in the safety rules with this edition. In previous editions it was, "Anyone who did electrical work", anyone who was exposed to these types of hazards was required to know first aid, to be first aid certified, CPR certified, AED certified. Well, they kind of pulled back on the range with that because there are a lot places where...different places in the facility, different sections, different shifts, they already have people in place for whom the requirement, as they say, are the first responders, the go team, if you will. In the event of an accident, these people are already trained and responsible with getting there first and rendering first assistance. 

So only when someone has that responsibility now, are they required to carry these certifications. Make it a little easier to implement that one. This one's very fundamental. You know, qualified person would be able to identify and understand the relationship between electrical hazards that are being exposed in the practice of their work and the level and type of possible injury that they could experience. I mean, that's a basic tenet there. They're knowledgeable regarding the construction of equipment. We talked about this. Remember the auto mechanic that's going to work on your car, but has no idea how it works. Not conducive to anybody's safety or satisfied customer, for that matter.

Knowledgeable regarding the operational certain systems. A good example here is switching sequences. Shutting down certain systems in the wrong way can cause a lot of problems. Understanding certain systems that can be automatically switched back on again is critical to an electrician's safety, as far as knowing whether or not what they're performing and what they're doing can be done safely. Knowledge about the equipment is kind of a given -- maintenance standards, maintenance requirements. Yeah, as it says right here, that kind of falls under knowledge of the operation. But moving forward, maintenance is going to be, and specifically condition of maintenance on equipment, is going to be one of the ways that a qualified person is asked to deem whether or not what it is they're about to do is, in fact, safe.


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