Electrical Business

Uncategorized Electrical Safety 360

Electrical Safety 360, April 2020 ed.

May 8, 2020 | By Mike Doherty

May 8, 2020 – CSA Z45001:19 is the Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use (ISO 45001:2018, MOD) Standard of Canada. It is the first edition with Canadian deviations of the ISO Standard 45001. Taken from the preface of this Standard, the following paragraph describes its usefulness in the workplace:

“Organizations are accountable for occupational health and safety and workplace parties are responsible for health and safety within their respective control or authority. This Standard provides a model for establishing, implementing, and maintaining an occupational health and safety management system that encourages a systematic approach to meeting defined occupational health and safety objectives and increases awareness of health and safety in the workplace. This Standard can also assist organizations seeking certification under federal, provincial and sector-based certification programs (e.g., Certificates of Recognition).”

Ultimately, OHS best practices need to be facilitated within the boundaries of a comprehensive management system. Z45001 is perfectly placed and aligned with the requirements of CSA Z462 to enable management tools as best practices. The current edition of CSA Z462 describes informative Annex A as, “aligning implementation of this standard with occupational health and safety management standards.” I have described the two jewels of CSA Z462 from my personal perspectives as Annex A and Annex U. (Informative Annex U is described as Human Performance and workplace electrical safety; a topic for another day).

As we gathered our new Technical Committee to design and build the first edition of CSA Z462 back in 2006, as Chair, I approached a very good friend and colleague, Lanny Floyd, and asked if he would consider becoming the leader of a Working Group to add a leading-edge Annex on safety management systems. Lanny is, to this day, the top health and safety and electrical safety management professional on the globe. Using his vast knowledge and experience, he led his Working Group to turn Annex A into one of the CSA Z462 jewels. It clearly makes the logical, business and safety case for health and safety management systems.


One of my favourite sections in Clause A.1 General is the following bullet point:

• a process for managing risks holistically, rather than having multiple competing efforts;

Much of the work done since 2006 by some of the top health and safety and technical experts in the world on the CSA Z462 Technical Committee were certainly strongly influenced by the term “holistic”.

One of the definitions for holistic is:

Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

CSA Z45001, a health and safety management system standard, was recently issued in Canada to replace CSA Z1000, OHSAS 18001 and ANSI Z10 in the United States. It is the true foundation and best practice to manage any health and safety hazard in the workplace.

The basic premise is that the CSA Z1000 Series standards are more generic and general by definition. Other Canadian OHS management system standards for example are:

CAN/CSA Z1001 (Occupational health and safety training)

CAN/CSA Z1002 (Occupational H&S – Hazard Identification and Elimination and Risk Assessment and Control) and

CAN/CSA – Z1600 (Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs)

For example, the CSA Z400 Series standards are more specific but are completely aligned within the umbrella of CSA Z45001. CSA Z460 (Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout and Other Methods), CSA Z462 (Workplace electrical safety) and CSA Z463 (Maintenance of electrical systems) are three of the very best electrical standards that fit within the purview of a managed system standard like Z45001.

Annex A in CSA Z462-18 is now dated based on release of CSA Z45001. A new Working Group was established recently to update Annex A to reflect this significant change for the 2021 edition of the standard. I would highly recommend ensuring that when you get your new copy of CSA Z462-21, you go to the newly-revised jewel of Z462 to see the alignments between the foundational health and safety management system standard, Z45001 and the far more specific CSA Z462. This will facilitate and demonstrate that Z462 continues to be the very best electrical safety standard on the globe.

About the author…

A subject-matter expert and independent contractor for 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. A licensed electrician and an IEEE senior member he has served as the Technical Committee Chair for CSA Z462 since its inception in 2006 until Dec. 2018 and continues on the TC as a voting member. He is now the Technical Committee Chair of CAN/ULC S801 – Standard on Electrical Utility Workplace Electrical Safety for Generation, Transmission, and Distribution. Mike can be reached at mike.doherty@e-hazard.com.

This article—along with other great content—appears in the April 2020 edition of Electrical Business Magazine.

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