It’s no secret that high voltage switches are essential to the operation of modern mine sites. Because of this, people that can operate them are always going to be in demand. However, the potentially hazardous nature and workplace safety implications of working with high voltage electrical equipment means that there are strict, legally enforced, regulations that govern this position.
Upon completing a *High Voltage (HV) Switching course, some people are under the misconception that they can now return to their workplace and legally carry out switching work. Unfortunately, this is very much not the case. If you’re interested in becoming a qualified high voltage switch operator, make sure you read the following steps you need to take.
1. Successfully complete a HV Switching course with CET / Coex Training
Completing a HV Switching course will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to implement a well-planned and thought out switching programme that will ensure all personnel working on or around high voltage remain safe. Highly qualified and experienced trainers will guide you through every step of the way and deliver the required information in an interesting, entertaining and informative manner that is drawn from their own experiences of switching in different industries around the world.
2. Demonstrate to the Mine Manager that you can safely and competently operate the relevant equipment
A common way to do this is to maintain a log. Under the supervision of authorised personnel you’ll carry out switching, develop switching programmes and issue HV permits - all of which will be recorded in a personal log that is reviewed by the Mine Manager.
3. Be appointed in writing by the Mine Manager
Once you have fulfilled the organisational requirements (which vary from operator to operator), you can then be appointed, in writing, by the Mine Manager as an approved HV switcher. This is usually done under recommendation from the Electrical Supervisor responsible for the HV installations on the site.
4. Attend refresher courses to maintain your qualification
The organisation’s procedures also need to identify the frequency of retraining (a.k.a refresher courses), that you’ll need to attend to maintain accreditation in this area.
As you can see, becoming qualified as a HV switcher is a lengthy and involved process due to the workplace safety implications of the work involved. We’ve outlined the steps it takes in a mining environment, but it actually varies significantly between industries. That being said, no matter what field you want to work in, the vital first step is completing a HV Switching course with a Registered Training Organisation like us, and then every 2 to 3 years, potentially looking at completing a *refresher HV switching course to re-validate your competencies.
Get in touch with CET to find out more about our post trade courses and how you can gain this valuable skill set that will greatly enhance your future employment prospects.
*These courses are typically delivered in conjunction with Coex Training