Safety training program essentials

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Identify the key elements of an effective safety training program
 

Safety training program essentials

In its recent publication, Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, the NFPA increased the training requirements for electrical workers. When combined with existing OSHA regulations, formulating an effective safety training program can get confusing. In addition, OSHA regulations also include training requirements. The following table outlines the essential elements of the NFPA, OSHA, and CSA electrical safety training requirements. For a more comprehensive discussion and presentation of safety training, please refer to the relevant regulatory agency’s publications.

SUMMARY TABLE OF OSHA, NFPA, CSA electrical safety training requirements

  • Training is required for qualified and unqualified persons
  • A qualified person is anyone exposed to or potentially exposed to electrical hazards
  • Training is required to establish an understanding of their and their employer’s responsibilities for electrical safety
  • Training must be such that attendees are able to recognize and avoid electrical hazards
  • Initial training must have a method to immediately respond to questions from the attendees and have a hands-on portion to establish proficiency
  • Trainees may not have a formal education in areas relating to electrical safety
  • Training is to be effective, site-specific and cover the hazards at that location
  • Computer-based and video training can be used to augment instructor-led training, but cannot replace it.
  • Annual training is required for contact release, first aid and CPR
  • Annual training is also required for the use of AEDs, if there are AEDs on site
  • Workers can be qualified to perform specific tasks, if they receive training in and demonstrate proficiency at that task while being supervised by a qualified person
  • Qualified person training must receive training in:
    • Skills and techniques to test for the presence and absence of voltage
    • Skills and techniques to determine nominal (phase-to-phase) voltage of the electrical power system
    • Safe approach distances for electrical shock and arc flash
    • Perform safety job planning
    • Assess the risk associated with a specific job task
    • Select the appropriate methods from a hierarchy of controls, including PPE
    • Safety-related work practices and procedures to perform the job task safely
    • How to identify and understand the relationship between electrical hazards and injury
    • How to select the correct test instrument, how to inspect it, how to safely use it, what it’s limitations of use are, and interpret the indications.
  • Tasks performed less often than once per year require retraining before that task can be performed again
  • Supervisors are required to perform inspections and audits, at least annually, to determine if their employees are following company procedures and NFPA guidelines
  • Even unqualified persons must have training in: How to recognize and avoid electrical hazards they may encounter
    • What the hazards are associated with the use of such equipment
    • What PPE may be required and when to use it
    • How to inspect, maintain and store electrical PPE
    • The limitations are of electrical PPE
  • Qualified persons must have training in and demonstrate skills and knowledge of electrical equipment and power systems:
  • Basic construction of the equipment and power systems
  • The manufacturer’s recommended operating procedures, including the use of any specialized tools or attachments
    • The hazards associated with operating the equipment or power systems

For more information on Electrical Safety, see our online course available at the Fluke eLearning Center.

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