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Authorising Engineer Forum puts electrical safety at top of agenda

Authorising Engineer Forum puts electrical safety at top of agenda

13 December 2016

Develop Training Ltd (DTL) held its first Authorising Engineer Forum at The Hawkhills Emergency Planning Centre in Easingwold near York on Friday 9 December. In a day full of presentations from a cross-section of industry, electrical safety took centre stage with the importance of safe systems of work being stressed by the speakers.

The day kicked off with Bill Bates of Foxgloves (Electrical Safety Management) discussing some of the investigations he’d been involved with during his career as HM Principal Electrical Inspector for the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Bill’s hard-hitting presentation underlined how easily very dangerous situations can be created due to a lack of planning, a lack of care and attention, and by not following the correct guidance and procedures. He went on to present the IET Code of Practice for Electrical Safety Management, the production of which Bill was heavily involved with.

Quality = safety

Lee Bateson, M&E Manager for Costain, then presented Costain’s approach to designated authorities for engineering disciplines before moving on to the automated tunnel drilling rig used on the mechanical and electrical fit out for the Crossrail project, and finally to World Quality Week. Lee’s key message was that through striving for quality on a project, safety will inevitably improve as a result.

Next up, DTL’s Al Katib (Senior Lecturer and Authorising Engineer) led the assembly through a talk about the US’ NFPA 70E standard for electrical safety in the workplace, looking in depth at arc flashes and the recommendations for suitable personal protective equipment (PPE).

Following on, ROOTS Original’s Scott Tonkin showcased the company’s range of arc-rated PPE, which included flame retardant workwear of different calorific ratings, eye protection and safety gloves.

Authorising Engineer Forum - Al Katib & delegates

How to mitigate the risk of the human factor

In the afternoon session, after a brief update on low voltage skills compliance from DTL Delivery Manager, John Scott, Lucy Electric’s Phil Bourne outlined a vision for the future of the energy network and how their secondary distribution automation systems are helping to modernise operations for the likes of UK Power Networks.

Danny Murphy, of the eight2O alliance then presented on the mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation (MEICA) management challenges presented by working in an eight-strong alliance on behalf of Thames Water.

Al Katib concluded the day’s proceedings with a practical case study exercise analysing the human factor in relation to electrical safety.

Responding to client feedback

“We’ve created the Authorising Engineer Forum after listening closely to our clients and recognising their enthusiasm for a platform which facilitates the sharing of best practice and knowledge, updates in legislation and showcases the latest technology” said Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training, “The fundamental reason behind the Forum is about ensuring we all return home safely at the end of each day. It’s a source of pride to us all at DTL that we can play a significant role in this through the creation of the Forum and through the training we provide nationwide.”