As more of us return to work environments at the Lab, we’re discovering equipment that needs service or repair. These needs, along with ongoing maintenance and construction work, plus potential Public Safety Power Shutdowns, have increased demand on the Lab’s pool of Qualified Electrical Workers (QEW).
Why would equipment repair by an outside technician cause demand on the QEWs? Part of the Lab’s safety protocols state that any non-construction hands-on repair or service of a device, apparatus, machine, mechanism, or building component by an outside vendor or technician requires a Subcontractor Job Hazards Analysis (SJHA). If work will require utility shut-offs, electrical work, or lockout tagout (LOTO), this triggers a request for a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to analyze the scope and might potentially require a QEW to support the work. For more detailed information, check out the “What is Electrical Work” field guide.
If possible, SJHAs should be completed at least two weeks in advance to ensure a QEW can be scheduled. If this isn’t possible, contact your building Facility Area Manager or email@example.com to get them involved in the planning process early. Requesting a utility shutdown, lock out tag out (LOTO), or electrical work on the SJHA will automatically trigger a notification to these SMEs, allowing time for someone to be assigned. If you have a sudden equipment failure requiring immediate service, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a general SJHA question, contact the SJHA Program Manager, Rob Connelly.
Why might a QEW be required? The Lab has a complex, layered, 90-year-old infrastructure and our QEWs are trained to know those complicated systems and dependencies. An outside vendor, even one who has been here before, may not be qualified to assess the potential hazards or “Qualified” to perform electrical work. As part of our integrated safety plan, only pre-approved QEWs can perform the work in order to keep everyone safe.
It is all of our responsibility to ensure a safe work environment at the Lab. Working around the safety systems set in place “just this once” could lead to serious consequences, especially when it comes to electricity.