The Role of “Employee in Charge” in Electrical Safety Work

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The Role of “Employee in Charge” in Electrical Safety Work

What is the definition of "Employee in Charge?"

The term “Employee in Charge” (EIC) or “Person in Charge” is used in the three major publications that describe electrical safety work procedures. Those are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Regulations, the National Fire Protection’s Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace 70E®, and Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineer’s National Electrical Safety Code.

These publications do not define the term. So this definition is offered: The Employee in Charge is a qualified person responsible for completing an electrical task, and of the safety of assigned workers.”

Duties of an Employee in Charge

The person who functions in this role keeps the “big picture” in mind as workers perform tasks on electrical equipment, circuit parts, and conductors. 

This is especially important in high voltage work. The employee in charge is like a football coach who is ultimately responsible for the success of the team. The employee in charge is ultimately responsible for the success of the electrical workers.

He or she delegates everything, from incoming and outgoing phone calls to equipment and tools transported to and from workers. The major function of this role is the interface, the liason between the workers and any other persons who are interested in the job or task taking place.

In addition, this employee is responsible for any required paperwork for the job or task. 

Who can be Employee in Charge?

Only a fully qualifed person can fill the role of an EIC. A management supervisor is not automatically the EIC because they might be an “unqualified person.” 

Without question, the terms “Employee in Charge” and “Person in Charge” describe a key role when performing electrical work, particularly in the high voltage environment. Someone needs to keep the big picture in mind, guiding and directing workers in proper and good safe work practices.

Always Room for Improvement: Submit a Proposal to NFPA

If you would like to see some changes made in the NFPA Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, you have only a few weeks left to submit a proposal. All submissions will be considered. 

This first public input stage of the revision ends June 1, 2021

Author

Al Havens

Al Havens brings more than 40 years of electrical safety experience to the classroom, 26 as Senior Electrical Engineer for U.S. Gypsum. Read more about Al.

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