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New high voltage awareness training course launched by MTCS

View all news from: MTCS (UK) Ltd
View directory entry for: MTCS (UK) Ltd

14 July 2022

World leading competence management and training specialists, MTCS (UK) Ltd, have launched a new online training course for personnel involved in the operation, maintenance and/or testing of high voltage equipment. 

Available via the dedicated digital e-learning platform MTCS Online, the High Voltage Awareness course is also suitable for personnel who work in the vicinity of high voltage equipment, a situation which means they are required, by their employer, to be made aware of the hazards associated with such equipment.

Richard Warburton, Managing Director at MTCS (UK) Ltd, explains further: "MTCS are recognised internationally for competence management and training for personnel involved in safety-critical activities in the energy sector, namely the subsea realms of ROV and AUV, hydrographic survey, the many marine disciplines and also the growing renewables industry.”

"Over recent years it has become increasingly apparent that MTCS are also well-regarded by other shore-based industries including many which, on face value, have little in common with our maritime clients.”

"After numerous approaches from such companies, we embarked upon developing the MTCS High Voltage Awareness Training Course, a digital learning solution suitable for personnel working in any industry. The fundamentals of safe working on, or in close proximity to, high voltage equipment is consistent across all sectors, and we believe the creation of this new course will be of immediate benefit to a wide spectrum of organisations.”

Under UK Health & Safety Executive legislation – and similar legislation across many other geographical regions - employers have a duty to train their employees, making sure they are aware and familiar with best practice and the dangers of high voltage equipment and installations. 

In their Electricity at work: Safe working practices (HSG85) publication, it is stressed that "the guidance covers the key elements to consider when devising safe working practices and is for people who carry out work on or near electrical equipment.”

Over the years, other areas of work may have received more interest and a fair degree of mainstream headlines on employee safety (such as work at height regulations) yet the potential for life-threatening incidents to those working in the vicinity of high voltage equipment is no less insignificant.

To elaborate on this last point, Richard explains that the High Voltage Awareness Training Course has already been successfully delivered to a London-based commercial cleaning company who are contracted to work with one of England’s premier football clubs, and also with press operators, engineers and maintenance staff at a large East Midlands printing company.

The High Voltage Awareness Training Course has been designed to provide participants with methods by which individuals are made aware of:

the hazards of working on systems that make use of high voltage;
legislative and company safety requirements concerning high voltage equipment;
the operational and technical procedures required to make the system safe to work on;
and, additionally, a means of assessing a person’s knowledge of the safety-critical factors, operating procedures, and basic procedures to isolate and make safe high voltage systems.

Delivered in four ‘modules’ covering an introduction to and definitions of high voltage; safety with high voltage; risk and injury; and safe systems of work, participants are awarded a certificate upon successful completion of the course. 

An optional practical assessment element is also offered to personnel who are required to make safe Electrical Equipment prior to maintenance being carried out.., with Pparticipants are required to safely carry out, under supervision and in accordance with HSG85 (Electricity at work: Safe working practices) activities including:

disconnecting and isolating the system;
proving the system ‘dead’;
discharge stored electricity;
install suitable ‘additional earths’;
and complete documentation such as Permit to Work and Isolation Control Certificates.

Being primarily an online course, companies enrolling their personnel will benefit from the flexibility afforded by the digital format with participants able to undertake the learning at a pace to suit their abilities and around day-to-day schedules.

"The past 18-months has also demonstrated to us all that e-learning and remote working can work effectively, with staff much more comfortable with this approach than the traditional classroom-style programmes.”

"Learning online isn’t the only option available.” adds Richard, "We have recently agreed a partnership agreement with the Port of Blyth and their training division, Port Training Services, which will enable us to access to their excellent training facilities for in-person delivery of this course and the practical assessment module.”

"We are also happy to discuss delivery of the training at client’s premises in the UK. If needed, skills assessor training can also be provided enabling internal personnel to supervise and assess these safety critical practical activities.”