Electrical Business

New Z462 standard boosts workplace electrical safety

February 21, 2018  By Anthony Capkun

Recent research and new requirements in the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I and NFPA 70E “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace” form the basis of the new and improved CSA Z462.

For 70 years and counting, CSA standards for occupational health and safety (OH&S) have helped keep workers and the public safe. These standards have evolved over time along with the workplace to fuel innovation and promote a safer working environment. On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Canada’s first general OH&S standard and the launch of the 2018 edition of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CE Code), we are sharing insights on some of the major changes to the 2018 edition of the CSA Z462 workplace safety standard and how those changes will contribute to improved workplace safety.

Aligned with the requirements in the CE Code, CSA Z462 “Workplace electrical safety” offers direction on how to integrate electrical safety programs into OH&S management systems so that you comply with due diligence requirements. It also provides details on recognized methods for identifying electrical hazards and risk assessment, as well as best practices and training to help you work safely on and around electrical equipment.

What’s new in the 2018 edition of CSA Z462?


Building on the changes made in the previous edition, the 2018 CSA Z462 standard builds on the shift toward risk assessment, with new definitions that harmonize with other safety standards such as CSA Z1000 and Z1002, and those dealing with arc flash and shock hazards. The new edition also features additional requirements aimed at establishing more robust electrical safety programs.

Here are some of the changes:

1. Safety controls must be developed and prioritized based on documented risk assessments.

2. Requirements for condition of maintenance, periodic inspections, and program auditing have been added to the electrical safety programs section.

3. The hierarchy of control is now mandatory with a new requirement that makes hazard elimination the first priority in the implementation of safety-related work practices.

4. Electrical safety programs are now required to include the investigation of “near miss” incidents.

5. The minimum threshold for potentially-hazardous energy has been reduced from 50 V to 30 V.

6. The process for shock risk assessment is now aligned with the arc flash risk assessment process.

7. Arc blast is now recognized as a category of electrical hazards.

8. The table on the selection of clothing and other PPE has been moved from Annex H to the criteria on arc flash risk assessment, making it part of the mandatory requirements.

9. The table on arc flash hazard identification is now affiliated with the arc flash risk assessment.

10. All training and auditing requirements have been relocated to Clause 4.1, following the establishment of an electrical safety program.

The new edition of CSA Z462 is available now in a variety of formats. CSA Group also offers updated CSA Z462-based training that is designed to help organizations deal with electrical hazards and offers guidance in implementing an effective workplace electrical safety plan. Contact CSA Group to learn more.

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