Likely Changes Coming to CSA Z462:21 Based on NFPA 70E

by Jan 5, 2021Electrical Safety

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.

Here are the main changes addressed in NPFA 70E which will likely also be found in the 2021 version of CSA Z462:

The definition on the balaclava has been redefined as protecting the head and the neck except a small portion of the face. In the previous version, it was specified that the nose and eyes were not protected. The 2021 standard wants to give more leeway and allow companies to protect more if they so desired.

The explanation under the safe electrical condition has been simplified to specify that a safe electrical working condition is not a procedure, but a condition of the electrical equipment which eliminates the risk of electric shock for the works duration.

A change to article 110.5 (H)1 is made which states that the risk analysis must include the procedure which determines when a second person is needed and what training they must have taken.

On lockout, the articles are slightly revised, but articles 188.1 to 188.13 of the RSST must apply for Quebec, where article 188.13 directly touches on the electrical installation.

In the steps to establish an electrically safe working condition, the mechanical part of an electrical equipment is seen as a mechanism to be blocked if the mechanism can be closed without the intervention of the padlocked worker.

Part 130 on work that includes electrical hazards on a voltage greater than 50V, it has generally been modified to specify that only qualified persons can work parts that are potentially live, that a permit to work under voltage is necessary and that the electric shock and arc risk analysis must be carried out.

Article 130.7 on personal equipment and other protective equipment, an informative note had been added in section (C)(1) when the level of incident energy (Cal/cm²) is greater than the level of the available PPE (often described as extreme danger or power off only work) and that risk reduction methods can be used such as using a non-contact pencil, checking the opening of the blades, configuring the system to reduce the level of energy or use a tool that offers a greater distance.

For dielectric gloves, the leather part must be shorter than the rubber part (this is normally the case even before 2021) and the tests must meet local requirements.

In the 2021 version, high visibility clothing must be arc-rated when worn over arc-rated clothing, but it does not have to be greater than or equal to the arc exposure level. Arc-rated clothing should protect adequately, and the coat or other visible clothing should simply be arc-rated.

On safety boots, full leather boots should be used when the energy level is above 4 Cal/cm². For any material other than leather, boots must be tested to withstand the level of energy to which they may be exposed.

The standard changed the version of IEEE-1584 2002 to the new 2018 version. See our other blog on major changes to IEEE 1584-2018.

Finally, the 2021 version of NFPA 70E incorporates virtually no change from the 2018 version. This contrasts with the 2015 changes that were refined in 2018 with the introduction of the odds of generating arcs and the hierarchy of risks.


Référence :

NFPA 70E 2021: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

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Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention œuvre dans le domaine de la sécurité au travail en offrant des services spécialisés répondant aux normes CSA Z462 – Sécurité électrique en milieu de travail, CSA Z460 – Maîtrise des énergies dangereuses : Cadenassage et autres méthodes, et CSA Z432 – Protection des machines. Nos domaines d’expertise sont donc reliés au cadenassage, à la sécurité électrique et à la sécurité machine. La satisfaction de nos clients est le gage de notre compétence


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