I work in engineering, designing high voltage systems (up to 10kV) with lethal energy behind the voltage. We also work on exposed mains. The company has a spot audit soon, so they have thrusted 20 pages of safety documents in front of myself and my colleagues. They are also doing a 'department clean-up' to make it appear like a safe working environment.
I've never seen these documents before in my several years there, and I've never signed anything other than my initial contract and 6-month probation forms, nothing else. Nor have I had any training on anything, and have just kind of 'worked it out' over the years. I have been shocked several times, and so have my peers.
I have a couple of questions about these forms. They state things such as 'if working on HV systems, the employee shall be qualified or trained' for example - I asked a senior who said because I have a degree I am therefore qualified to work on for example live systems which does not make sense to me? I never touched or worked on mains live or HV electrical systems at University, it was mostly academic study.
Secondly, these forms have weird requirements. For example, using a soldering iron, it says we must wear gloves, eye protection, and protective footwear. In a case like this, if an accident was to occur and I wasn't wearing the correct footwear, could the company say they are not liable because I signed a form and didn't follow their protocol? There are lots of forms that have odd things like this, like requiring full PPE when using screwdrivers. Is it reasonable for the company to make us sign forms regarding PPE?