CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety: 3rd to 4th Edition Differences & Updates

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Written by Jessica Tucker, HSE Specialist

In 2018, the Canadian Safety Association updated their Workplace electrical safety Standard. The 3rd Edition was released back in 2015, making this year’s updated Standard the 4th Edition. Danatec Educational Services Ltd. offers multiple electrical safety consulting services to employers all over Canada; Electrical Safety Program “Product in a Box” implementation and development, External Electrical Safety Audits, Arc Flash Incident Energy Analysis Studies and various online and instructor-led training solutions based on the CSA Z462. It is important that our experts stay informed of these changes and educate their clients. Our experts can guide employers in the right direction when it comes to implementing an Electrical Safety Program and help manage change in the workplace.

Here are the top 10 key changes:

1. Low Voltage Threshold
The 50V low voltage threshold has been lowered to 30V to align with the CEC definition for voltage; 30V is extra low voltage.

2. Risk Assessment Procedure
The Risk Assessment Procedure clause has been converted into a section of five clauses. The Hierarchy of Control Methods was moved from a non-mandatory note to its own clause.

3. Human Error
Human Error is now one of the five clauses listed under the Risk Assessment Procedure. In order to complete a risk assessment, human error must now be taken into consideration for its potential negative impact on people, processes, equipment, and work environment.

4. Job Safety Planning
The Job Briefing clause has been converted into a section of five clauses. Significant requirements for Job Safety Planning include:

  • To be completed by a qualified person
  • To be documented
  • Include the description of job and tasks
  • Shock risk assessment
  • Arc flash risk assessment

5. Shock Risk Assessment
The Shock Risk Assessment clause has been updated to align with the Risk Assessment Procedure focus by including a step in the process, “to eliminate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health.”

6. Arc Flash Risk Assessment
The Arc Flash Risk Assessment Clause has been converted into a section of three clauses. It too has been updated to align with the Risk Assessment Procedure focus by including a step in the process, “to eliminate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health.”

7. Removal of the 40 cal/cm2 Limit
Two notes related to 40 cal/cm2 incident energy being “dangerous” and “no PPE available” have been removed from the Standard. These statements are false.

8. Arc Flash Risk Assessment- Likelihood of Occurrence Table
Table 2: Estimate of the likelihood of occurrence of an arc flash incident ac and dc systems is to be used as a primary reference when completing an energized electrical work task’s Arc Flash Risk Assessment.

9. Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Arc Flash PPE Category Method, and Typical Fault Clearing Times of Overcurrent Protective Devices
The Arc Flash Risk Assessment and Arc Flash PPE Category Method have been updated to only use the renumbered Table 6A, 6B and 6C. Also, new notes have been added to Table 6A: Arc flash PPE categories for alternating current (ac) systems, indicating typical fault clearing times of overcurrent protective devices.

10. Equipment labelling no longer required
For industrial workplaces, it is no longer required to install equipment labels for arc flash and shock as long as you provide access to incident energy analysis data.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How might these changes impact the existing policies, practices, processes, and procedures used to execute justified and authorized energized electrical work tasks?
  • What new processes should be added to your Electrical Safety Program with respect to proactive management of arc flash and shock hazards?

For more details on the CSA Z462 3rd to 4th Edition differences and updates or inquiries on implementing a complete Electrical Safety Program of your own, please contact one of our experts at 1-800-465-3366 or visit our website at www.danatec.com.

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