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Objective-based industrial electrical code receives approval


The CSA-OBIEC (objective-based industrial electrical code) Technical Committee has approved two standards: C22.4 No. 1, Objective-based industrial electrical code, and C22.4 No. 2, OBIEC Safety management system-Requirements. These OBIEC standards are intended for use by authorized industrial users as an alternative to the Canadian Electrical Code.

OBIEC
supporters say the benefits for industry will be significant, including
enhanced safety performance and design flexibility with a strong
emphasis on superior engineering. “The OBIEC has an element of
continual improvement that includes operations and maintenance
requirements, providing for a more complete cradle-to-grave life cycle
for industrial electrical installations,” they say.




OBIEC
will encourage global best practices, products and technologies, say
supporters, and will serve to lay a foundation for harmonization of an
industrial user’s Canadian and global operations. The CE Code, NEC,
IEC, IEEE and other industry-recognized standards are referenced (with
the CE Code serving as the benchmark for measuring safety performance).




Based on
early pilot projects, industry can realize 10-15% or greater in overall
electrical installation cost savings while maintaining or even
improving safety performance. Under an OBIEC safety system, supporters
say, engineering designs will better reflect electrical installation
specs derived from the OBIEC’s safety objectives rather than under the
current safety system, “where there is a tendency to pass on design
responsibility to installers, relying on their knowledge of
prescriptive requirements to compensate for gaps in design”.




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