Written by Terry Becker , P. During training, the information provided to supervisors and Qualified Electrical Workers may not have covered the topic, described what the required risk assessment process is, or explained that the process shall be documented in order to comply with the mandatory CSA Z Risk Assessment Procedure. Risk assessment is not hazard analysis. You need to consider both the potential for injury or damage to health as well as the likelihood of occurrence. In reality, we want to prevent exposure before we protect. So what are the important aspects of the Risk Assessment Procedure that need to be communicated?
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Written by Terry Becker , P. During training, the information provided to supervisors and Qualified Electrical Workers may not have covered the topic, described what the required risk assessment process is, or explained that the process shall be documented in order to comply with the mandatory CSA Z Risk Assessment Procedure. Risk assessment is not hazard analysis. You need to consider both the potential for injury or damage to health as well as the likelihood of occurrence.
In reality, we want to prevent exposure before we protect. So what are the important aspects of the Risk Assessment Procedure that need to be communicated? The work task may expose the worker to just one of them, or to both. Examples of discrete energized electrical work tasks are voltage measurement, current measurement, energized repair or alteration, racking in or out power circuit breakers, and installing temporary protective grounds.
Remember: testing for the absence of voltage is energized electrical work! Assessing inherent risk can be completed by using a defined risk register table and electrical hazard risk assessment matrix examples will be provided later. You will also be required to complete separate shock and arc flash risk assessments as components of the overall risk assessment process. If the inherent risk level is High, then apply all available risk control methods to reduce the residual risk level to Low or Medium.
In the field, it is critical that the Qualified Electrical Worker documents in their Job Safety Plan the risk control methods which must be applied to drop the residual risk level to Low or Medium. Human error must be managed by the Qualified Electrical Worker in real time in the field just before completing the assigned energized electrical work tasks.
Implementing a comprehensive and documented qualitative risk assessment process is not complicated. Yes, there is a subjective element, and this has to be acknowledged and managed when performing the risk assessment.
Where Do I Begin? It is a matter of being trained on the process and working as a team to implement the process for individual discrete energized electrical work tasks. Meetings can be scheduled, minutes and action items created, and proactive committee-based risk assessments completed.
The results of this process can then be provided to Qualfied Electrical Workers to apply in the field before they proceed to complete a discrete energized electrical work task. After the initial risk assessments are completed, the ESSC can meet on an annual basis to review and revalidate the determined residual risk levels and take into consideration any changes.
As mentioned earlier, the individual shock risk assessments and arc flash risk assessments completed for each discrete work task are in fact individual risk assessments that are completed within the overall risk assessment process.
CSA Z462 and Risk Assessment
One of the main concerns that this standard focuses on is arc flash and shock along with the preventative measures that should be taken to avoid the harm caused by working unsafely. The best way to understand the importance of the guidelines provided in CSA Z is to first know what an arc flash is, what causes an arc flash, and from these understand the danger it poses: What is an arc flash? An arc flash is a sudden release of electrical energy through the air when a high-voltage gap exists and there is a breakdown between conductors. An arc flash gives off thermal radiation heat and bright, intense light that can cause burns and other injuries. Temperatures have been recorded as high as 35, degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to these extreme temperatures burns the skin directly and ignites the clothing that you are wearing. High-voltage arcs can also produce considerable pressure waves by rapidly heating the air and creating a blast.
Standard CSA Z462: The 15 changes to the 2018 edition you need to know
This accreditation acknowledges that CSA Group complies with a specific set of accreditation criteria. As a result, its standards are recognized around the world for their ability to meet the needs of industry, regulators, manufacturers, and consumers. CSA Group maintains its accreditation by developing consensus standards that adhere to the requirements established by the SCC. This Standard has evolved to be the North American Standard for electrical safe work practices for energized electrical work.
CSA Z462: Preventing the Dangers of Arc Flash and Shock
It supersedes the previous editions published in , , and In addition to its initial source, it includes significant revisions by CSA Group. The NFPA, holder of the copyright in this edition, takes no responsibility for any portion thereof. This Standard specifies requirements for and provides guidance on safety management systems, safe work procedures, and selection of personal protective equipment and other safety devices for persons exposed to hazards associated with energized electrical equipment. In addition, this Standard sets out criteria for the identification and training of qualified electrical workers and for determination of hazardous work to be performed only by those qualified individuals. In this edition, where a major change or addition to the previous edition of this Standard has been made, the clause, table, or figure affected is identified by the symbol delta in the margin.