CSA Z462 is not law. But...

in engineering •  9 days ago 


Canadian Electrical Code CSA C22.1

There is a misconception that I hear every month or so when talking to clients and other engineers, it is that since CSA Z462 isn't written directly into the law of the land that it doesn't have to be followed.
Well, they are right that it isn't written in the Provincial Regulations, with the exception of BC where it is referenced as an acceptable standard, but they do reference the Canadian Electrical code CSA C22.1, and C22.1 references CSA Z462.
For example in Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act paragraph 120 (1) states:

An employer shall ensure that an electrical installation is designed, installed, assembled, operated, inspected, serviced, tested, maintained, repaired and dismantled in accordance with the latest version of CSA standard CSA C22.1, “Canadian Electrical Code Part 1”, Safety Standard for Electrical Installations”.
When you open the Canadian Electrical Code Part 1 (CEC), there are two rules in Section 2 that stand out:
Electricians on High Voltage

Rule 2-304 (1)
No repairs or alterations shall be carried out on any live equipment except where complete disconnection of the equipment is not feasible.
and Rule 2-306 (1)
Electrical equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centres 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.
These rules both point to appendix B in the standard with notes on the rules that point the reader to CSA Z462 as an acceptable method to meet the intent of these rules. To my understanding this hasn't been tested in the court of law, but it would be negligent not to use CSA Z462 as the minimum standard when developing a safety program in your company.

Not only CSA Z462

CSA Z462

That doesn't meant that CSA Z462 is the only standard that can be used, NFPA has a comparable standard numbered 70E that says all the same things as CSA Z462, but in standard units vs metric. Using Nova Scotia as the example, using the current version of CSA Z462 (or NFPA 70E) as the standard when developing your electrical safety program is the most prudent means to ensure the safety of your employees and compliance to local law.

In Summary

CSA Z462 is the accepted industry standard regarding electrical safety in the workplace, and the 2015 revision allows tight integration into your existing Occupational Health and Safety program. By using CSA Z462 as the standard in your facility you reduce incidents in number and severity, and will be compliant with the local laws. If you would like to talk more about how we can help you integrate CSA Z462 into your safety program contact us here. If you aren't ready to integrate CSA Z462 into your safety program click here and sign up to our monthly newsletter.


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