Can An Unqualified Employer Determine Who Is Qualified?

red background with burning question

Q.   I understand only an employer can determine which employee is qualified or not.  What if the employer themselves are not qualified to do that?

A.   You are correct, OSHA states an employer is responsible to determine qualification and that the employee shall demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge, to the employer’s satisfaction for the work and the employer is responsible to provide safety training. Additionally auditing and regular supervision (OSHA requires an annual work practice audit in 1910.269 and 1910.950-969 and NFPA 70E-2015 110.2(D)(1) requires this for all qualified workers. These steps assure workers are “qualified” for the work on electrical equipment. OSHA does not care if the employer is qualified or not to make that determination.  While we can’t speak for OSHA, I think OSHA believes that if the employer deems themselves unqualified to make that determination, they have the resources to hire someone who does have the qualifications to make that determination.

Hugh Hoagland

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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