What does this mean exactly? Is an electrician automatically qualified to do live electrical work? The answer is no. A license, diploma, or certificate does not necessarily make you a qualified person.
For example, let’s take an experienced electrician who has been working for twenty years at the same industrial plant, which has no emergency power system. The electrician then takes a job in a maintenance position at a hospital. Although he is an electrician, he is not qualified to engage in work on Generators or Automatic Transfer Switches. This otherwise experienced electrician has no experience, training, or demonstrable skills in emergency power systems. However, a worker in the same hospital, who may not be an electrician, could be qualified for emergency system maintenance based on skills, experience, and training.
Construction and operation of equipment
Work procedures for each type of task
Identifying and avoiding electrical hazards
Safe work practices
Hazards associated with the equipment
Hazards associated with the task
Approach boundary distances
Signs of impending equipment failure
Insulated tools and equipment
Ability to distinguish exposed energized electrical parts from other parts
Ability to determine nominal system voltage
Ability to inspect and test PPE and test instruments
Perform job safety planning
Assess the risk
Select appropriate risk control methods
Perform procedures to safely complete the task
Establish an electrically-safe work condition
This list of necessary traits and required abilities may seem a bit daunting, and in many respects, it is. Afterall, performing live electrical work is a dangerous job and becoming qualified to do this work should not be easy. To put it simply, qualification comes down to training, knowledge, and skills concerning specific tasks and equipment and the ability to demonstrate one’s training, knowledge, and skills in the field.
Thank you for your time. Mitchell & Lindsey offers Arc Flash Risk Assessments and Electrical Safety Training. If we can be of service to you in these areas or if you have any questions about this article, please reach out to me at the email or phone number below.