Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Electrical Safety Introduction

Purpose

Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) developed this program to reduce exposures related to energized electrical work, and to assure the safety of personnel who face a risk of electrical shock, arc flash events, or related injuries as part of their job duties.  This program complies with the requirements and intent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and relies heavily on industry standards, such as the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 70E-2015 “Electrical Safety in the Workplace”. The Electrical Safety Program also assures that all departments that perform electrical work on campus follow uniform work practices.

Application

Each department that performs work covered by this program must designate one or more employee(s) to coordinate the requirements of this program at departmental worksites. Program coordinators will assist EHS with training departmental staff that work on or near electrical systems, and will review and verify the skills and competency of departmental workers.

All construction, renovation, and maintenance of university facilities must be in accordance with university Policy 5405 to ensure full compliance of the design and execution of the work with applicable codes, standards, permitting requirements, and other university concerns.

Scope

This program provides a system for ensuring that personnel performing energized electrical work, including voltage testing and diagnostics, are trained in the safety aspects of such work and have been qualified by their supervisor to perform the task assigned. The training offered by EHS associated with this program covers personal safety issues regarding work on electrical systems, and includes relative information to be gathered while analyzing electrical-related hazards, which safe work practices may apply, and selection, use and care of appropriate electrical-related personal protective equipment.  

Qualified persons are those who have received specific training and have demonstrated the skills necessary to work safely on or near exposed energized parts. A person may be qualified to work, for example, on circuits up to 600 volts, but may be unqualified to work on higher voltages. Only qualified persons may place or remove locks and tags on energized electrical systems.

  • Note: A person undergoing on-the-job training who has demonstrated the ability to perform duties safely at his or her level of training, and who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person, is considered to be a qualified person for the purpose of those duties.

Unqualified persons are those with little or no such training.

Electrical Work

This program applies to work performed by persons working on or near:

  • Premises wiring: Installations of electric conductors and equipment in or on buildings or other structures, and in other areas such as yards, parking and other lots, and industrial substations.
  • Wiring for connection to supply: Installations of conductors that connect to the supply of electricity.
  • Other wiring: Installation of other outside conductors on the premises.
  • Optical fiber cable: Installation of optical fiber cable near or with electric wiring.

Safe work practices also apply to work performed by unqualified persons near energized electrical conductors, equipment, or systems.

Research Work

Students performing work on energized systems must be supervised by a qualified person, and must be trained on the hazards of electricity and the methods used to control or eliminate those hazards. For information regarding electrical research safety, click here.