Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Friday, May 08, 2009

CSA Z462 Workplace Electrical Safety Standard

An introduction to the Canadian Z462 electrical safety standards is provided by an article in the current issue of Canadian Occupational Safety magazine. The article is called "Electrical Safety Gets A Boost." In the article the Z462 standard is summarized as applying:

"to contractors and electrical workers, and provides guidance to employers on what qualifications are required for electrical work – and cautions against allowing non-qualified people inside hazard boundaries."

"It’s based on well-established occupational health and safety principles, and recognized across the country as good practice, from manufacturers to contractors to regulators. Z462 deals specifically with hazard communications, controls and safety precautions in the areas of electric shock and arc flash, and includes requirements for training and qualification of electrical workers, as well as personal protective equipment."

This article provides an overview of the creation of the Z462 standards, as well as discussing the need for such standards, without talking about what is included in the z462 standards. It does point out that Z462 differs from NFPA 70e in that it has five annexes not included in NFPA 70e, but it only mentions one of the annexes.

It is interesting that the article makes note that most electrical injuries happen because workers are unaware of the dangers of electricity, don't understand the hazards, and are not aware of the safety measures that should be applied. The article suggests training as the way to communicate the dangers of electricity to workers. I would add that the use of signs and labels, to deliver information at the location where the hazard exists, is also critical. Signs and labels remind workers about what they learned in training... in particular reminding them that electrical hazards are not to be taken lightly.

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