By Bennett Roberson, CSP, CESCP
Director of Business Development, Gulf Coast Safety Council
In the field of Electrical Safety there are, like other disciplines, many terms and acronyms that are frequently used which may have the unintended effect of confusing, or at a minimum, be misleading for some at times. Terms such as Qualified and Unqualified leave many employers “Uncertain” as to where their employee’s skill level and experience leave them in regard to the OSHA standards. Is the journeyman electrician that has been with the company for 15 years qualified? They are licensed by a third party, and have worked on various projects over the years which has given them a broad base of knowledge and skills. Surely, they must be considered “Qualified.” Or are they……
Let’s start by taking a look at OSHA’s definition, in the General Industry Standard, of a Qualified Person for Electrical Work – “One who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electric equipment and installations and the hazards involved.” Although this may appear to be a concise description of what constitutes a Qualified Person, OSHA goes on to expand on the requirements.