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The role of Qualified Business Person (QBP) and Qualified Technical Person (QTP) in ensuring electrical safety at the workplace

    QBP, QTP, and their role in ensuring electrical safety

    Cert II Electrotechnology

    In the fast-paced and technologically driven landscape of today’s workplaces, the management of electrical risks has become more critical than ever. Electrical safety is not only about compliance with regulations but is essential for the well-being of employees and the overall success of businesses. This blog will explore the best practices of a Qualified Business Person and Qualified Technical Person for mitigating electrical risks.

    Objectives:

    The primary goals of implementing robust electrical safety practices are to safeguard employees, prevent accidents, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. By achieving these objectives, businesses create a safer working environment, reduce the risk of injuries, and mitigate potential legal consequences.

    Process:

    Effective electrical risk management requires a systematic approach involving comprehensive risk assessments, the implementation of control measures, and ongoing monitoring. Thorough risk assessments help identify potential hazards, assess the likelihood of incidents, and determine the severity of consequences. A detailed electrical safety plan should be developed and communicated to all employees.

    Let’s delve deeper into the roles of a Qualified Business Person and a Qualified Technical Person in ensuring electrical safety at the workplace:

    Qualified Business Person:

    A key aspect of effective business risk management is the appointment of a Qualified Business Person. This individual, who has obtained the qualification through completion of a Qualified Business Person Course, is instrumental in overseeing and implementing electrical safety policies within the business.

    Who is a Qualified Business Person?

    A Qualified Business Person is an individual with specialised training and expertise in managing electrical risks within a business. This designated person is responsible for overseeing electrical safety policies, ensuring regulatory compliance, and implementing necessary administrative precautions to prevent accidents.

    The Role of a Qualified Business Person (QBP):

    Key Responsibilities:

    • Risk Assessment and Management:
      • Conduct comprehensive risk assessments to identify potential electrical hazards in the workplace.
      • Create and execute risk management strategies to minimise the likelihood and impact of electrical incidents.
    • Regulatory Compliance:
      • Stay abreast of regional and industry-specific electrical safety laws and regulations.
      • Ensure that the business’s electrical safety practices align with legal requirements, codes, and standards.
    • Safety Planning and Implementation:
      • Develop, communicate, and oversee the implementation of electrical safety plans and protocols.
      • Collaborate with relevant departments to integrate safety measures into daily operations.
    • Training and Education:
      • Facilitate training programs to educate employees about electrical safety best practices.
      • Ensure that all concerned are appropriately aware and follow the approved safety policies and procedures.
    • Incident Investigation and Reporting:
      • Lead investigations into electrical incidents or near misses.
      • Implement corrective actions based on investigation findings to prevent recurrence.
    • Communication and Collaboration:
      • Create a culture of open discussion about safety issues and improvements.
      • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including management, employees, and external safety experts.
    • Continuous Improvement:
      • Regularly review and update electrical safety policies and procedures to reflect changing circumstances.
      • Embrace a philosophy of continuous improvement in electrical safety practices.

    The Role of a Qualified Technical Person (QTP):

    Who is a Qualified Technical Person?

    A Qualified Technical Person (QTP) is an individual with the necessary technical qualifications (Qualified Technical Person Course) and expertise to handle specific electrical tasks within a business. This designation is particularly vital for tasks that involve working with electrical systems, equipment, or installations. As a QTP you will be responsible for any electrical accidents within your realm. 

    Key Responsibilities:

    • Task-Specific Expertise:
      • Possess in-depth technical knowledge related to the specific electrical tasks assigned.
      • Stay current with advancements in electrical technology relevant to the industry.
    • Energised Work Supervision:
      • Oversee and supervise tasks involving energised electrical work.
      • Ensure that proper safety measures, such as Lockout/Tagout procedures, are strictly followed.
    • Equipment Inspection and Maintenance:
      • Regularly inspect electrical tools and equipment for safety and functionality.
      • Coordinate with maintenance teams to address and rectify any identified issues promptly.
    • High Voltage Work Management:
      • Manage and supervise high-voltage electrical work, ensuring adherence to stringent safety protocols.
      • Confirm that only qualified personnel are engaged in high-voltage tasks.
    • Emergency Response:
      • Be prepared to respond to electrical emergencies promptly and effectively.
      • Collaborate with the emergency response team to ensure a coordinated approach to incidents.
    • Training and Certification:
      • Obtain and maintain relevant certifications and qualifications for the assigned electrical tasks.
      • Facilitate training sessions for employees involved in or affected by specific electrical work.
    • Documentation and Record-Keeping:
      • Maintain detailed records of completed electrical work, inspections, and certifications.
      • Ensure that all documentation complies with regulatory requirements and internal protocols.

    By delineating the distinct roles of a Qualified Business Person and a Qualified Technical Person, businesses can establish a robust framework for electrical safety. The collaboration between these roles ensures that both the managerial and technical aspects of electrical safety are adequately addressed, creating a safer working environment for all employees.

    Conclusion:

    By incorporating these comprehensive measures and additional suggestions into their electrical safety framework, businesses can foster a culture of safety, reduce the likelihood of incidents, and create a workplace where employees are empowered to prioritise safety. Embracing the principles of continuous improvement and staying informed about industry best practices will contribute to a safer and more productive work environment.

    For electricians to become QTP they must have 2 years of electrical experience after being issued an electrical licence. Only a qualified electrician with a minimum of 2 years of experience can become a QTP in QLD but QBP is open to non-electricians. The QLD Electrical Safety Office website has further information.

    Every electrical contractor in QLD must have a QTP and QBP. In most cases, they are both the same person. There are various situations where a QBP does not have to be an electrician. Yes, it would be ideal for everyone involved in the electrical industry to have electrical knowledge but it rarely happens. There are many facets to an electrical business other than just performing electrical work. For example, if it was a small mum-and-dad electrical contracting business where the electrician is a sole trader and his wife is looking after the administration side of the business then the husband would be a QTP and the wife would be a QBP. The wife does not need to be an electrician to manage the business but she would rather be looking into attending calls, bills payable, managing quotes, bills receivables, marketing, sales, posting ads, managing books, managing compliance, managing replies to customer messages and queries, and many more activities that are not electrical but are crucial for a business to succeed. Most sole tradies don’t want to sit in front of the computer, they would rather be on tools and do what they enjoy instead of getting bogged with administration. Another case would be where two mates start an electrical business together where one is an electrical whiz and another is a marketing whiz in such a partnership both would share the QTP and QBP duties respectively and hopefully succeed in the business with such an alliance.

    For those looking to do a course to become a QTP or QBP at AUSINET, please note the following entry requirements:

    • Basic Computer Literacy
    • You will need a Gmail Account to have access to Google Drive to participate in this course
    • A Valid Photo ID (e.g. Drivers Licence)
    • Australian Passport /Birth Certificate / Medicare Card
    • A Valid Unrestricted Australian Electrical Licence / A Current Electrical Mechanic Licence (Required for QTP only)

    Resources:

    For a deeper understanding of managing electrical risks, please refer following resources:

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