In Quebec, any hazardous product handled, used or stored in the workplace is subject to regulations, including the sections of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS) in section X – Storage and handling of hazardous materials with the various security measures in addition to the pan-Canadian WHMIS 2015 system.
The field of health and safety at work is becoming increasingly complex and several sub-fields, which are often highly technical, are starting to appear or to evolve. Machine safety is a prime example of these sub-fields.
This blog is a continuation of the one published in 2020 on the probable changes of the CSA Z462 standard in 2021, related to the changes of the American standard NFPA 70E 2021. Following the release of the new version of the CSA Z462-21 standard, the first important point is that the revision of the CSA Z462 standard does not consider the changes of the NFPA 70E 2021 standard.
No Workplace is immune from biological hazards. Employees in different types of work may be intentionally or accidentally exposed to biological agents (Haagsma et al. 2012). These include parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi and protein. They can appear and disappear due to a variety of factors (J. F. Shroder and Ramesh Sivanpillai, 2015), so it is important for workers to be prepared for.
The 2021 version of standard CSA Z462 will be released in the coming months. Since it makes changes based on the American standard NFPA 70E, we analyzed the latter, which just released its new revision, to predict probable changes to appear in the CSA Z462 standard in 2021. Standard NFPA 70E contains minor changes from its previous version. In 2021, the committee’s goal is to refine the articles and link them with current safety rules, i.e. risk reduction at the source.
Even now in 2020, there are too many accidents caused by electric shocks in Quebec. This situation is due to several factors: whether because of lack of knowledge and understanding, lack of training, or gaps in occupational safety regulation.
The CNESST’s “machine safety” action plan launched in 2005 has certainly raised awareness and improved the safety of a lot of equipment in Quebec, although there is still some way to go. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that their equipment is safe. This is the law (LSST, 2020).
An update to standard CSA Z460 on lockout and other energy control methods was published in August 2020. The following previously published blogs address various aspects of lockout that are still relevant and may also be of use to you.
Lockout of Mobile Equipment
Energy Control Method Other Than Lockout
Tips on Electrical Zero Energy Verification
Elements of a Lockout Procedure
Individually Keyed Lock and Information Tag
The 2020 version of standard CSA Z460 contains a few notable additions over the previous version. The points listed below address the main changes made, the most significant of which are in the annexes of the standard.
184.108.40.206 Hazardous energy control procedures
The term “lockout sheet” is replaced by “energy control procedure” or “lockout procedure” in the 2020 version of the standard. This term therefore becomes standardized with the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RROHS or RSST).
7.3.9 Remote locations
By way of clarification of what is considered to be a remote location, it is specified that each organization should establish what it considers to be a remote location with as an example “a work area away from a control center.” These can be pipeline networks, who pumping stations are far apart from each other; or gas and electricity distribution networks.
In these cases, the people doing the work are not the ones applying lockout. Therefore, communication challenges are high and “documented procedures must be followed in conjunction with the obtainment of written authorizations.”
In addition, a suggestion is made in the 2020 version to have the lockout verified, if possible, by a second authorized person, in the case of remote locations.
Annex D: Templates for lockout program and policy, general lockout procedure (individual) and approved energy control procedure
The formatting has changed but the content remains the same except for the addition of an individual lockout process flowchart that details all the steps from task assignment to completion, including the affixing of a supervisory padlock in case of postponement of work.
Annex E: Lockout signs, flow diagrams and nomenclature standards (formerly, Annex E: Lockout sheets)
The main addition to Annex E is part E.1 which is an example of a nomenclature standard. This part can be very useful for organizations that want to set up a new identification of cut-off points which should all have a unique identifier easily visible in place.
The rest of Annex E uses the same examples of signs and lockout procedure (sheets), formatted differently.
Annex F: Group lockout procedure template
This is Annex G of the previous version with some modifications (formatting, images, etc.). In particular, two flowcharts are added: a flowchart of the individual lockout process and a flowchart of the group lockout process. They present the completion of a complete lockout procedure. There is also a testing flowchart. Testing being the partial or complete energy reset during the intervention for tests or other needs before resetting to zero energy and continuing.
Section F.2 explains the use of an auxiliary lockout box in the context of group lockout involving a large number of authorized workers. This process involves the use of a supervisory lock and allow for faster lockout and termination.
Annex I: Advice on construction sites
This is an addition to the 2020 version of the standard. Construction sites are the scene of many more or less complex activities carried out simultaneously by many companies. This Annex states that “the host user’s hazardous energy control program be used to coordinate all external services and external contractor programs.” It also lists 18 points guiding compliance with this requirement. For example, the use of zonal isolation methods is recommended when energizing the electrical network of a construction site.
Annex M: Information on mobile equipment and machinery
Section M.4 is an addition to the 2020 version. It emphasizes the following 4 points concerning vehicles with internal combustion engines:
– The risks associated with starting internal combustion engines that are not equipped with a lockable energy isolation device that prevent starting;
– The energy isolation devices on mobile equipment;
– The potential and residual sources of hazardous energy, which are frequent on mobile equipment.
These additions help to identify the potential sources of dangers on mobile equipment and the measures to be put in place to control energy.
Annex N: Control method for other energy systems
This new annex aims to identify the risks and measures to be taken specific to energy systems such as wind turbines and solar panels. These are two examples of the application of the concept of energy control in the environment around the intervention area. For example, one can isolate the source of electrical energy supplying the systems, but the wind turbine or the electrical panel themselves produce electricity and therefore become another source of energy to be controlled.
Annex S: Example of the decision-making process for other control methods
This new annex notably contains a table with many examples of tasks compared to the selection criteria to figure out whether these tasks can be performed using a method other than lockout. It is the purpose of this annex, as well as to help identify a method of controlling the energy.
Appendix T: Consideration of human performance factors
Behind the notion of human performance is the notion of human errors or of human factors in the occurrence of incidents or accidents. As the application of energy management methods is human-based, this addition to the standard makes it possible to tackle the management of human errors in order to limit them as much as possible and thus improve the efficiency of work methods.
In almost all workplaces, there are tasks that require work at height. In order to be well prepared to carry them out, there are steps to follow that increase the effectiveness of fall management and eliminate or reduce the risk of falls.
When working in confined spaces, it is mandatory to provide for the presence of a supervisor throughout the work. They play a crucial role in the smooth running of operations. The roles and responsibilities of a confined space supervisor are often misunderstood and therefore underestimated.
Once the confined spaces in the workplace have been enumerated based on the definition of the regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RROHS), they must be characterized. But how is it done?
When confined space work accidents occur, the vast majority of investigations and analyzes of these accidents identify as the main cause that workers were unaware that they were in confined spaces.
According to the IRSST’s annual indicators on occupational injuries, the number of work accidents fell sharply between 2007 and 2012 (22% decrease in injuries with loss of time later compensated) (Duguay et al., 2016). However, in 2018, there were 62 fatal occupational accidents (CNESST, 2019). If we include deaths linked to occupational diseases, 226 are to be deplored in 2018 alone. Much prevention work therefore remains to be done.
As you may have observed, there is a current trend in Quebec, as well as, in other parts of the world in distance learning. In fact, the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA) concluded that 1.36 million registrations for online courses were credited in 2016-2017 in universities and CEGEPs. The trend also applies in the field of continuing education.
Due to lack of internal expertise, lack of personnel, lack of budget or lack of ability to provide a dedicated resource, health and safety projects are occasionally left behind. Doing so is negligent, as our blog on the cost of non-safety explains. Indeed, occupational accidents cost much more than investing in safety-related projects.
Standard ISO 13857 on safety distances preventing lower and upper limbs from reaching hazardous areas, together with standard ISO 14120 concerning the general requirements for the design and construction of fixed and movable guards, are essential standards for the design and verification of the conformity of guards.
It is widely known that occupational health and safety is essential and obviously serves to secure workspaces to reduce accidents. However, several indirect benefits of a good OHS culture do exist and are not frequently discussed.
In 2018, the number of accident files opened and accepted in relation to falls at a lower level was 4,750, which represents an increase of 328 files compared to 2017. In addition, the number of deaths following falls rose from 10 in 2017 to 15 in 2018, which represents almost a quarter of all deaths (24,2%)
Knowing that the majority of workers are unaware that they are in a confined space, the first step to perform for the management of work in, is to count and identify them. CSA Z1006-16 specifies that confined spaces must be identified by signs or posters installed at each exterior entry point with the following indications recommended.
According to Tucker and Keefe (2019) of the University of Regina, the annual percentage of non-fatal accidents in Quebec between 2010 and 2017 remained relatively constant (slightly less than 2%). The rate of fatal accidents fell slightly during the same period, from 2.6 to 1.6 (per 100 000). For example, with regard to accidents related to electricity, in 2018 this represented 164 cases and 161 in 2017, a little more than 2 per day on average (CNESST, 2019).
Intervention Prévention Inc.
Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.