Originally posted by: sfchew
Competency is the ability to carry out the work efficiently and safely. In countries where it is legally required to carry out electrical work only by the competent person there is no possibility for anyone else to do it.
People who are not competent should not perform the tasks that require competency.
Some people are technically competent but do not possess legal competency qualifications. Management has to deal with such cases.
Companies and people have to comply with the requirements of the relevant laws which apply, so it is not about should this or should that. With regards to UK H&S laws the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act would set out the general requirements in this case and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 would require a risk assessment. However motors are equipment and so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 would apply with regards to maintenance and isolations etc. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 would apply if the person was going to work in an electrical panel or on live equipment etc., however if the HV motor is properly isolated and locked off then it is primarily equipment, as it no longer has an electrical supply.
With regards to isolating The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require 'No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or, where appropriate, injury, unless he possesses such knowledge or experience, or is under such degree of supervision as may be appropriate having regard to the nature of the work.'
The HSE state '10.The EAW Regulations contain no specific requirement for the written authorisation of competent persons, although authorisation may be required when necessary to avoid danger.'
The EAW1989 also provide for defence and state that 'it shall be a defence for any person to prove that he took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of that offence.'
The HSE prosecute based on the law and judges make their decisions based on what they interpret the words to mean.....note 'no specific requirement for the written authorisation of competent persons'
The HSE guidence for Technical knowledge or experience for EAW1989 Reg 16. is:
'The scope of 'technical knowledge or experience' may include:
(a) adequate knowledge of electricity;
(b) adequate experience of electrical work;
(c) adequate understanding of the system to be worked on and practical experience of that class of system;
(d) understanding of the hazards which may arise during the work and the precautions which need to be taken;
(e) ability to recognise at all times whether it is safe for work to continue.'
It is for the relevant company to decide who is competent for this activity and providing they do this in a reasonable way there will be no accident and no prosecution. If that person cannot prevent danger or injury then they are not competent whereas if they can then they are competent. Competency has nothing
at all to do with efficiency in this particular work activity.