Possessor of the electrical installation and the operation manager

The possessor of the electrical installation and the operation manager play an important role in ensuring the safety of the electrical installation. For this reason, they have certain duties prescribed by law.

Possessor of the electrical installation

The possessor of the electrical installation is usually its owner. The possessor of the installation may also be a tenant, for example.

The possessor of the installation must

  • provide the operation manager with sufficient opportunities to manage and supervise the operation, upkeep and maintenance
  • ensure that the condition and safety of the electrical system is monitored and that the defects and faults detected are removed quickly enough
  • ensure that a maintenance programme to maintain electrical safety is drawn up for the electrical installation in advance
  • take care of carrying out the statutory inspections, notifications etc., such as periodic inspections and possible change notifications to Tukes
  • provide the operation manager with the required information about the electrical system’s construction, change and repair work as well as the related inspections.

Operation manager of an electrical installation

The operation manager of an electrical installation is a responsible person appointed by the possessor of the electrical installation for category 2 and 3 electrical installations. The operation manager must be a natural person with a sufficient certificate of qualification.

The possessor of an electrical installation must appoint an operation manager for category 2 and 3 installations, when

  • the installation includes parts with a nominal voltage of more than 1,000 V such as a high-voltage transformer substation, installation categories 2C and 3C. This does not refer to equipment supplied by a low-voltage electrical network (≤1,000 V) that itself has high voltage, or when
  • the connection capacity of the equipment is more than 1,600 kVA. This refers to the sum of the connection capacities of the electrical connections of the possessor of real property or a continuous group of buildings, installation category 2D.

Duties of the operation manager of an electrical installation

The operation manager takes care of or supervises the following on their own behalf or on the behalf of the possessor of the electrical installation:

  • the condition of the electrical installation is monitored sufficiently with regular inspections included in the upkeep and maintenance
  • the faults and defects discovered in the electrical installation are removed sufficiently quickly
  • the persons operating the electrical installation or doing comparable work independently, as well as supervising such work, have sufficient qualifications or otherwise sufficient professional competence, and that the persons have been instructed in their duties
  • there is a maintenance programme for the electrical installation that maintains electrical safety; it is bound to the calendar and covers the entire installation, including the low-voltage sections
  • using the electrical installation is safe, and the measures in accordance with the maintenance and upkeep programme are carried out in the installation
  • a record is kept on the performance of the work in accordance with the programme
  • the periodic inspections required by regulations are conducted on the electrical installation by an authorised inspector or an inspection body. Any deficiencies stated in the records are corrected.
  • the commissioning and verification inspections required by the regulations on additions, changes and expansions have been carried out
  • the inspection records have been handed over to the possessor and the deficiencies detected have been corrected
  • the notifications included in the possessor’s obligations are submitted
  • the equipment, drawings, diagrams and instructions required for the operation and care of the electrical installation are available and up to date.

The possessor of the electrical installation and the operation manager should draw up a written agreement on the performance of the operation manager’s duties. The agreement must state how the duties are to be carried out, and which party takes care of the practical implementation of each task. In any case, the operation manager is obliged to supervise that the activities comply with the rules and regulations.

Appointing and changing the operation manager

The possessor of the electrical installation appoints the operation manager and notifies Tukes about the operation manager. It may also be useful to give the operation manager’s contact information to the local electricity distribution network company.

An operation manager must be appointed for the whole electrical installation, including its low-voltage (≤1,000 V) parts. The high- and low-voltage parts of the same continuous electrical installation may have different operation managers. In that case, the electrical qualification 2 or 2S, or a corresponding qualification in the old system, is sufficient for the operation manager of the low-voltage part.

If the operation manager changes or cannot take care of their duties for reasons other than a short-term absence, such as a summer holiday, the possessor of the electrical installation must appoint a new operation manager within three months. The possessor must submit a change notification within one month of the change. The notification must also be submitted concerning changes in the installation’s information in the register, such as a change of ownership.

Existing electrical installations that require an operation manager must also be entered in Tukes’s register, if they are not already registered there.

Note: If the operation manager is not employed by the possessor of the electrical installation:

  • the installation may include no more than three transformer substations, each not exceeding 20 kV of nominal voltage, or separate power distribution stations comparable to a transformer substation of a nominal voltage of more than 1,000 V, or
  • the company represented by the operation manager must draw up an electrical equipment maintenance agreement with the possessor of the electrical installation, valid throughout the operation manager’s term.

The maintenance agreement presumes that the operation managers employer must have a right to carry out electrical work for the work area in question. The maintenance contractor and the designated operations manager must have sufficient readiness for normal operational work. In accordance with the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act, the operator who entered into the maintenance agreement is responsible for himself and for the possessor that operational work is carried out in a safe manner and that the maintenance is carried out in its entirety as planned.

If it is appropriate to divide the operating management into e.g. parts above and below 1000 volts (V), the designated operator is responsible for his own area of ​​responsibility.

The provisions of section 6 of the Electricity Market Act shall apply to the employment relationship of the operation manager of the electricity distribution network operator. According to it, an applicant for an electricity distribution network license must employ an operation manager (Electrical Safety Act 1135/2016, section 61).

Operation and electrical works

In addition to operating the installation, simple repairs and maintenance comparable to operation can be carried out led by the operation manager, such as replacing a broken part of the installation or maintaining an electrical component.

If the company performs actual electrical work in addition to operation, such as more extensive repairs or maintenance, a manager of electrical work with sufficient qualifications must be appointed as the person responsible for the work. Tukes must be notified about the activities.

The same person can act as the operation manager and the manager of electrical work, if they are able to take care of the duties related to both responsible positions. This person may also have other duties. Electricity Market Act sets certain additional requirements on electricity distribution network companies.