Your Electrical Safety Program: Document Housekeeping

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By Cole Ferguson

Once you have all of the necessary data in one spot for the electrical safety program, you will have to start organizing the binder, or electronic file for the document itself. Let's start with the document housekeeping, this will give you a visual checklist of all the sections that need to be addressed.

The first tasks that need to be covered are what I call the “general housekeeping” portions of the document. In order, these include the Table of Contents and List of Figures, the Scope, Reference Publications, and Definitions.

Table of Contents and List of Figures

The Table of Contents and List of Figures are easy: they're a list at the beginning of your program that lists all of the main items and where to find them. These will usually be created last even though they're the first thing a reader will see. You can look to any book, text, or standard for examples of the Table of Contents and List of Figures. These are important so that you can quickly find any information in your electrical safety program.

Use this section of the document to list out the sections, tables, etc that you want to include in the electrical safety program.

Scope and Reference Publications

Next, let's talk about the Scope for your electrical safety program.

The scope should include some general information about your program including; what kind of business or facility the program is for and what kinds of accidents the program is trying to prevent. It should state where the electrical safety program can be applied, who is responsible for following the electrical safety program, and what situations the electrical safety program can be used for. It can also include what measurement units are used (as a Canadian I prefer SI units). Any terminology that could be confusing (due to words having multiple meanings) can also be described here.

Reference Publications include any material you may have used when designing your electrical safety program - including SparkyResource. This section describes the sources of information including internal documents, national and international standards, technical papers, etc.

Definitions

Definitions are the big brother to the terminology section in the scope. The definitions section of your safety program serves to clearly explain any words that might not be familiar to new employees, or even to veteran employees who have new responsibilities and have limited experience with a particular topic.

The definitions section helps avoid confusing jargon by defining the exact meanings of words as related to the electrical safety program. Check out our article on the misuse of jargon before you go on to the next section, Jeff explains the importance of having definitions for the commonly used terms in your workplace.

As far as the less exciting (but still important) stuff is concerned, that's it! Next week, we'll get started with the real meat and potatoes of your electrical safety program: The General Occupational Health and Safety System.

This post is part 3 of the "Electrical Safety Program Development" series:

  1. How to Create an Electrical Safety Program
  2. Electrical Safety Program: Getting Started
  3. Your Electrical Safety Program: Document Housekeeping
  4. Electrical Safety Program: Health and Safety, Your Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Electrical Safety Program: Planning Standards and Hazard Identification
  6. Electrical Safety Program: Planning Risk Assessment - What Makes an Electrically Safe Working Condition?
  7. Electrical Safety Program: Training and Clear Communication
  8. Electrical Safety Program Wrap Up: Documentation, Evaluation and Corrective Action