Emerging regulatory change related to electrical safe work practices for energized electrical work will impact all electrical workers in
Canada. Any company employing the services of an electrical worker (i.e. journeyman electrician, electrical testing and commissioning, power linesman, etc…) either as staff or on a contract basis will be impacted. The changes will also impact non-electrical workers.
For example in
Alberta in 2004 the
Alberta added new language to the
Alberta Occupational Health & Safety Act, in Part 18:
Flame Resistant Clothing:
Use of flame resistant clothing:
232 (1) “If a worker may be exposed to a flash fire or electrical equipment flashover, an employer must ensure that the worker wears flame resistant outerwear and uses other protective equipment appropriate to the hazard.”
232 (2) “A worker must ensure that clothing worn beneath flame resistant outerwear and against the skin is made of flame resistant fabrics or natural fibers that will not melt when exposed to heat.”
More recently, effective
October 9, 2007,
SaskatchewanLabour is amending and reissuing their Occupational Health & Safety Act. Of significance to electrical safety are Sections 94, 465 and Table 23.
Saskatchewan Labour, Occupational Health & Safety, new amendments coming into effect
October 9, 2007 are highlighted in “ The Saskatchewan Gazette, August 10, 2007.
Some excerpts from the Gazette are as follows:
Section 94 is amended:
(a) by renumbering it as subsection 94(1); and
(b) by adding the following subsections after subsection (1):
(2) Where there is a risk of injury to the skin of a worker from fire or explosion, an employer or contractor shall provide the worker with, and require the worker to use, outer fire resistant clothing that:
(a) meets an approved industry standard; and
(b) is appropriate to the risk.
(3) Where there is a risk of injury to the skin of an electrical worker from arc flash, an employer or contractor shall provide the electrical worker with, and require the electrical worker to use, arc flash protection that meets an approved standard."
Section 465 amended:
32(1) Subsection 465(1) is repealed and the following substituted:
(1) In this section:
(a) ‘applied science technologist'means an applied science technologist who is registered pursuant to The Saskatchewan Applied Science Technologists and Technicians Act and whose registration has not been suspended or cancelled;
(b) ‘certified technician' means a certified technician who is registered pursuant to The Saskatchewan Applied Science Technologists and Technicians Act and whose registration has not been suspended or cancelled;
(c) ‘qualified electrical worker' means:
(i) the holder of a journeyperson's certificate in the electrician trade issued pursuant to The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Act, 1999, and includes an apprentice in the trade while under the supervision of a journeyperson;
(ii) the holder of a journeyperson's certificate in the power lineperson trade issued pursuant to The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Act, 1999, and includes an apprentice in the trade while under the supervision of a journeyperson; or
(iii) for the purpose of design, calibrating of equipment, inspection, monitoring, testing, and commissioning of equipment in high voltage installations, electrical engineers, applied science technologists or certified technicians who have achieved professional certification within an electrical, electronics, industrial or instrumentation discipline;
(d) ‘utility tree trimmer' means a person who has successfully completed a course that has been approved for the purposes of this section.
(1.1) An employer or contractor shall ensure that a qualified electrical worker has had approved training in high voltage safety.
(1.2) No qualified electrical worker shall undertake high voltage electrical work unless the worker:
(a) has written proof of approved training in high voltage electrical safety; and
(b) has that written proof of approved training readily accessible at all times while working near energized high voltage electrical conductors."
As well in CSA’s, 2006 Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Part 1, C22.1-06, a new rule has been added:
2006 Canadian Electrical Code Part 1, Rule 2-306:
(1) Electrical equipment such as switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers that are installed in other than dwelling units and are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall be field marked to warn persons of potential electric shock and arc flash hazards.
(2) The marking referred to in Subrule (1) shall be located so that it is clearly visible to persons before examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance of the equipment.
The owner of electrical distribution equipment will have to ensure that this warning label is field applied to new equipment effective
September 1, 2006. This code rule is enforceable as law under Provincial legislation as the CEC Part 1 is adopted into law in every Province and Territory.
With the label applied to electrical distribution equipment, the level of due diligence on the owner and operator of the equipment to ensure they have adequate electrical specific PPE and safe work procedures for energized electrical work in use by the electrical worker will be required.
Appendix B of the 2006 CEC, Part 1 also lists two documents that can be referenced with respect to the electrical hazards of arc flash and shock, IEEE 1584 “Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations” and NFPA 70E “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.”
Additionally, CSA in 2006 established, the CSA Standard, CAN/CSA-Z1000-06, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) as a National Standard of
CSA Z1000 “specifies requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS).” It provides specific direction with respect to the OHSMS that it must have commitment of leadership, planning, implementation, evaluation and corrective action elements. Specifically in Section 4.4.2 Preventive and protective measures it advises that:
CAN/CSA – Z1000-06, Occupational health and safety management:
Preventive and protective measures shall be implemented according to the following priority:
(a) eliminate the hazard
(b) substitute with other materials, processes, or equipment;
(c) use engineering controls;
(d) use safer work systems that increase awareness of potential hazards (e.g. lights, signage, beepers, etc.); (e) provide administrative controls, such as training and procedures; and
(f) provide personal protective equipment, including measures to ensure its appropriate use and maintenance.
The application of these preventive and protective measures shall take into account:
(a) the nature and extent of the hazards and risk identified;
(b) the degree of hazard and risk reduction required;
(c) applicable legal requirements;
(d) recognized standards, codes, and best practices in the industry sector, where applicable;
(e) the availability of suitable technology; and
(f) other relevant considerations.
CSA Z1000, besides Provincially regulated obligations related to occupational health and safety provides direct guidance on what you would be held accountable to demonstrate due diligence too with respect to energized electrical work, more than in the past.
Lastly the Canadian Standards Association has signed a historic MOU agreement with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to work jointly on harmonizing safety standards for
North America. CSA in January of 2006 decided to leverage this agreement and has initiated a project to adapt/adopt NFPA 70E to a National Standard of
Canada, CSA Z462 “Workplace Electrical Safety Standard.”
How does an Electrical Safety Program fit in?
An integral part of managing the associated regulatory risk is to establish revised electrical safe work practices that are consistent with the industry accepted best practices or “standards.” Integrating your current work practices and revised work practices into a comprehensive Electrical Safety Program is one approach to mitigating the risk to your workers and the regulations. If you currently don’t have anything in writing or what you have isn’t consistent with the new upcoming standards of practice for
Canada, you should create an Electrical Safety Program for your company that addresses the hazards of energized electrical work and how to mitigate the risk.
When will CSA Z462 be available?
CSA Z462 will be available in 1stEdition, 1stQuarter 2009 or late 2008, and will be issued in unison with the 7thEdition, 2009 NFPA 70E.
How can ESPS help you?
ESPS is a consulting services company that can provide you with specialized electrical safety services e.g. Electrical Safety Program (ESP) Audits, consulting services for Electrical Safety Program development, and complete training services related to Electrical Safety Programs.