Working in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution can be an interesting and hazardous job. Because the production of reliable power is such an important, and dangerous, endeavor, there are many regulations applicable to the industry.
NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) monitors, regulates, and implements compliance policies for power system operators in the U.S. and Canada. OSHA requires all employers to reduce risks, inform workers about possible hazards, and supply the necessary protective equipment. They also must provide the training needed for employees to safely perform their job duties.
What is the Electric Power Standard?
OSHA requires certain employers to comply with standard 1910.269 Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution. First issued in 1972, the standard was updated for consistency and improved safety. The final rule was expected to prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 118 serious injuries annually. Revised §1910.269 and Subpart V became effective on July 10, 2014.
Who Must Comply with the Standard?
Employers that operate or maintain electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment must follow §1910.269.
Employers with employees who perform construction work on electric power transmission or distribution lines or equipment must follow Subpart V.
What Employee Training is Required?
Each employee shall be trained in, and familiar with:
- Safety-related work practices
- Safety procedures
- Emergency procedures
- Other safety requirements
The risk to the employee for the hazard involved determines the degree of training.
What Knowledge and Skills are Required?
Power transmission employees need the skills and techniques necessary to:
- Recognize electrical hazards to which they’ll be exposed
- Control or avoid electrical hazards
- Distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment
- Determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts
- Identify and maintain the minimum approach distances corresponding to voltages
- Use special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, and insulating materials and tools for working on or near exposed energized parts
When is Retraining Necessary?
Employees should receive additional training when:
- Supervisors or inspectors indicate an employee is not complying with safe work practices.
- New technology, equipment, or procedures necessitate the use of different safety-related work practices.
- Employees must use safety-related work practices that are not normally used during his or her regular job duties (i.e., less often than once per year).
What is Necessary for Employees with Previous Training?
For an employee with previous training, proficiency can be verified by:
- Making an initial determination, via an exam or interview, that the employee understands the relevant safety-related work practices before he or she performs work
- Supervise the employee closely until that employee has demonstrated proficiency
What about First Aid Training?
When employees are performing work on exposed lines or equipment energized at 50 volts or more, persons with first-aid training shall be available for field work and fixed work locations.
Is there Power Transmission Certification?
Reliable power production is achieved through enforcement of NERC standards and the certification of system operators. NERC’s System Operator Certification Program seeks to ensure system operators meet minimum qualifications.
To earn certification, an operator passes an exam and completes NERC‐approved continuing education every three years.
What is on the NERC System Operator Certification Exam?
The certification exam is based on job analysis surveys of certified operators across the industry. There are four exams containing 100 to 120 questions: Reliability Exam, Balancing, Interchange, and Transmission Exam, Transmission Exam, and Balancing Exam.
Each exam will test the following major knowledge areas:
- Resource and Demand Balancing
- Emergency Preparedness
- Emergency Response
- Contingency Analysis and Reliability
- Communications and Data
What is the Required Training for the NERC System Operator Certification?
Operators must be sufficiently knowledgeable to pass the certification exam. Then to maintain certification, operators must complete continuing education every three years.
Power transmission courses provide in-depth reviews of the fundamentals and advanced concepts of day-to-day and emergency operations of transmission assets. It also takes up monitoring and control processes, according to NERC standards.
Power transmission training courses may include:
- Transmission System Protection
- Transmission Operations 101 – Monitor, Assess and Respond
- Transmission Control
- Power Dispatching
- System Restoration
- Control Performance Requirements
- Synchronizing Islands
How Can You Complete Power Transmission Training?
The most convenient, hassle-free way to complete power transmission training while working full time is online education. eLearning allows learners to go at their own pace and access lessons when it’s right for them.
One of the top power and utilities training providers is 360training.com with easy-to-use approved online courses on a variety of power transmission topics. Enroll today!