T&D World Magazine
Tom Norwood: Life Saver

Tom Norwood: Life Saver

Electrical safety training saves lives, and Tom Norwood, instructor at AVO Training Institute, has made electrical safety one of his primary passions. His interest in this subject preceded the beginning of the current safety training revolution. Starting out as a substation maintenance person in the late 1960s, he had first-hand exposure to some of the issues that plagued the electrician of the time. Understanding the hazards involved and ensuring his own safety became paramount.

Norwood will be teaching Electrical Safety for Industrial Facilities on Jan. 24, in Dallas Texas. The course covers:

  • Electrical hazards and safety procedures for working on/around metal-clad switchgear, substations, motor control centers and facility electrical systems
  • In-service care and use of required personal protective equipment
  • Energized and de-energized work procedures such as minimum approach distances and lockout/tagout requirements
  • Temporary and permanent grounding systems and specific equipment hazards
  • Overview of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.331-335, .269, .303, .137 and .147

Fourteen years ago Norwood joined the AVO Training Institute and has become involved in the crusade of educating the electrical workers in the daily hazards that are ever present in their work environment.

He has an extensive knowledge of the OSHA regulations and has been a member of the Technical Committee on Electrical Safety in the Workplace as an alternate to Dennis Neitzel since 2002. This committee’s primary responsibility is the NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

When asked, Norwood’s passion for the subject becomes obvious. “I have a personal commitment to providing an understanding of the hazards of electricity to those who work in this arena, because without that knowledge, we will continue to have unnecessary injuries and fatalities.”

With the recent recognition of the arc flash and arc blast elements of electrical systems, major strides have been made in protecting the electrical worker.

“It is very rewarding to me when I get a call from someone who was in one of my classes and they want to thank me for saving their life. There is not much that can top that,” Norwood said.

In addition to electrical safety, Norwood also teaches fiber optic splicing and testing courses for AVO. Along with Norwood’s affiliation with the NFPA, he is also a member of IEEE and ASSE.

Norwood has other passions such as rockhounding and birding, but they take a back seat to electrical safety in his scheme of things.

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