COVID-19 limits CPR training for electrical workers
Access to rescue and resuscitation training for electrical workers has been impacted by COVID-19.
According to an alert from the Queensland Electrical Safety Office, legislative requirements for this type of training training are generally met by undertaking nationally recognised units of competency, delivered by registered training organisations including:
- HLTAID001 — Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- UETTDRRF02B — Perform pole top rescue (PTR)
- UETTDRRF06B — Perform rescue from a live LV panel (LVR)
Access to training courses has been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimise the impact on industry while still maintaining the safety of electrical workers, the Electrical Safety Office said it is putting interim arrangements in place.
If licence applicants or those renewing licences are impacted by short notice cancellation of courses, CPR and PTR requirements will be waived subject to the licence holder:
- advising their employer that they have not completed the training
- taking steps to complete the training as soon as is reasonable.
Exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis, with licence holders’ details recorded for follow-up. Once training access returns to normal, the Electrical Safety Office will email affected licence holders to advise that they need to complete the training. It said it will also conduct follow-up audits with licence holders.
Workers whose CPR, PTR or LVR training is not current should not act in roles that require this training, particularly safety observers for live work. The work should be rescheduled or redesigned so that a safety observer or rescuer is not required.
According to the Electrical Safety Office, if neither rescheduling nor redesigning is possible — and if a worker’s training is not current — electrical work on or near energised electrical equipment must only be performed in accordance with a documented risk assessment. This must factor in the currency of the worker’s training, including:
- documenting the competency assessment process undertaken in lieu of recognised training
- documenting any evidence considered in determining competency
- consulting with workers and worker representatives who will rely on the assessed ‘rescuer’.
In all instances, work must not proceed unless all parties are satisfied that it is safe to do so.
For those who are assessing workers’ ongoing competency to perform rescue and resuscitation, the Electrical Safety Office recommends considering:
- how long since the worker’s CPR/PTR/LVR expired
- the rescuer’s years of experience in rescue training and in the type of work and risks associated with the work being performed
- the familiarity and confidence that work team members have in each other.
It said they should also consider using online video resources from their regular provider as interim refresher training.
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