Electrical Safety Program: Health and Safety, Your Roles and Responsibilities

By Cole Ferguson


Now that we've gotten all of the data gathered on your current working situation, and we've finished with all the preliminaries, we can get started with the General Occupational Health and Safety section of your electrical safety program!

Your General OHS should reiterate the purpose of your electrical safety program. It should begin with a general explanation of what your electrical safety program is intended for. Feel free to re-state the Scope here. You can then talk about Roles and Responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities sub-section explains who is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and reviewing the electrical safety program, and outlines the process by which the electrical safety program is measured and monitored. For now we will assume that this person is you. The team creating the electrical safety program should be a healthy mix of corporate management and ground level employees, as well as safety officials. You want to be able to cover as many scenarios as possible, and a large team with a broad range of different experiences can help accomplish that goal.

This section will outline how affected workers are involved in the development and implementation of the program. Sometimes very important aspects of an electrical system can be overlooked by someone who is not intimately familiar with the finer details and inner workings of the electrical system. If you know someone with more technical or practical experience than you or your team have, it is always a good idea to consult them before implementing a new safety program.

Another thing that roles and responsibilities needs to explain is the role of managerial and executive staff in the creation of the electrical safety program. It is very important that management be made aware of the risks involved in working with any energized equipment at your workplace so that they can make informed decisions about any jobs taking place.

Next, roles and responsibilities should make it abundantly clear that all persons involved in the operation of the facility should have the self-discipline to follow the electrical safety program.

The roles and responsibilities should clearly outline who is and who is not qualified to work a specific job. A qualified worker is someone who has sufficient up-to-date training in the particular job, understands the risks involved and knows how to best protect themselves.

An obvious example of unqualified persons.[/caption]

After getting the general OHS completed, you're ready to take the plunge into one of the really big sections of your electrical safety plan: the Planning section, coming next week!

This post is part 4 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