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Clause “Job safety planning and job briefing” • Electrical Safety 360, February 2018

February 26, 2018 | By Mike Doherty

February 26, 2018 — The new CSA Z462-2018 “Workplace electrical safety” was released to the public in the second week of January. CSA Group’s announcement regarding the 4th edition highlighted a number of revisions, but one of the most powerful and best changes is the requirement to perform and document job safety planning.

Clause “General” states that, before starting a job that involves exposure to electrical hazards, the worker in charge is to complete a Job Safety Plan and conduct a job briefing with all the workers involved with the job.

Clause “Job safety planning” states the Job Safety Plan is to be completed by a qualified person and, again, documented. Remember, if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.

Per Clause, the Job Safety Plan is to include the following information:


• A description of the job and the individual tasks.
• Identification of the electrical hazards associated with each task.
• A shock risk assessment in accordance with Clause 4.3.4 for tasks involving a shock hazard.
• An arc flash risk assessment in accordance with Clause 4.3.5 for tasks involving an arc flash hazard.
• Work procedures involved, special precautions and energy source controls. As well, there is clear direction for the job briefing to cover this Job Safety Plan, as per Clause

Clause “Job briefing”

The job briefing shall cover the job safety plan and the information on the energized electrical work permit, if a permit is required.

The requirement for a Job Safety Plan is a game changer when it comes to executing safer electrical work. For many, but not all, the verbalization of safe work practices for electrical tasks was the norm. Certainly, the requirement to document a quality Job Safety Plan with the clarity of Clause — and have it on record — is a major step in the right direction for those who only verbalize their planning.

The 2018 edition conveys an excellent alignment between several important segments in CSA Z462. In particular, in Clause “Training of qualified persons” (Part b-iv), you will note that one must be able to execute the decision-making process for completing the shock and arc flash risk assessment procedures as one step toward being considered qualified.

These decisions now need to be documented in the Job Safety Plan requirements as one of the aligned segments. Another alignment is detailed in the descriptions of the risk assessment procedures: one for shock and another for arc flash, as appropriate to the specific task and equipment.

To err is human

A very important addition spearheaded by the Z462 Technical Committee tackles the issue of human error (Clause

The risk assessment procedure shall address the potential for human error and its negative consequences on people, processes, the work environment, and equipment.

Note: The potential for human error varies with factors such as tasks and the work environment. For more information regarding human error see Annex U.

People are fallible. We make mistakes. This is why it is critical to account for human performance considerations within the design of a quality Job Safety Plan.

Remember, plan your work and work your plan.

A subject-matter expert on electrical safety, Mike Doherty is the president and owner of Blue Arc Electrical Safety Technologies Inc. His specialties include electrical safety management, consulting, training, auditing and electrical incident investigations. He is also an independent electrical safety consultant/trainer contractor for eHazard in Canada and an independent technical advisor contractor for eWorkSAFE in Canada. He is a licensed electrician and an IEEE senior member, and has served as the Technical Committee chair for CSA Z462 since its inception in 2006. Mike can be reached at electrical360safety@gmail.com.

This article originally appared in the February 2018 issue of Electrical Business Magazine.

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