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Canadian Standards Association(CSA) Z462-12

Written by Steve Stephenson

Workplace Electrical Safety Standard

NFPA 70E, but modified to reflect the Canadian workplace (Z462-12 is aligned with the 2012 edition of the Canadian Electrical Code Part I) the Z462 standard provides standards for safe electrical work practices.

Clause 4.3.5.4 in Z462-12 provides the arc flash labeling requirements. Z462 has the same labeling requirements as NFPA 70E, with the exception that it adds one additional requirement – (d) date of the hazard analysis. The Z462 labeling requirements are:

Electrical equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centres (MCCs) that are in other than dwelling units and that are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall be field marked with a label containing all the following information:

  • at least one of the following:
    • available incident energy and the corresponding working distance;
    • minimum arc-rating of PPE;
    • required level of PPE; or
    • highest hazard/risk category for the equipment;
  • nominal system voltage
  • arc flash boundary
  • date of the hazard analysis

You best choice for making Z462 compliant arc flash labels is a DuraLabel printer and supplies. You'll have long-last, effective, compliant arc flash labels that are fast and easy to make. Call 1-888-326-9244 today and ask about our DuraLabel Z462 labeling kits.

Changes To Z462 In The 2012 Edition

The Canadian Standards Association web site states that the second edition (Z462-12) provides:

  • Advice on integrating electrical safety programs into OHS management systems
  • Best safety practices for work on and around electrical equipment
  • Guidance on due diligence in prevention of electrical injuries
  • Methods for identifying electrical hazards and assessing risk
  • Targets for electrical hazard awareness and training for workers

CSA Z462-12 includes the following changes that are related to arc flash.

Arc Flash Boundary:

CSA Z462 renames the "arc flash protection boundary" as the "arc flash boundary".

Z462-12 provides a definition of the “arc flash boundary” as establishing a hazard zone (a conceptual boundary) around potentially hazardous electrical equipment. It specifies that the “arc flash boundary” either be calculated or be obtained from the applicable Hazard/Risk Category Table.

PPE Tables for Use with Incident Energy Calculations

A new table is available to help employers determine what PPE should be specified on arc flash labels. The new table is designed to identify required arc flash PPE by its energy rating instead of by category number. This is being done in order to move away from using the hazard category number for determining the required PPE.

"Hazard" and "Risk" – These Are Now Two Distinct Terms

In the previous version of Z462 the terms "hazard" and "risk" were used interchangeably and were sometimes combined into a single term; "hazard/risk." CSA Z462-12 brings the use of these terms in line with how they are used in international safety standards.

Safety management systems recognize that "hazards" should be identified and eliminated whenever possible. On the other hand “risk” is to be reduced such that it is effectively controlled. This results in an elimination and control strategy for electrical safety. This change in terminology puts the focus first on eliminating or controlling hazardous energy. When that is not possible, then PPE is used to protect workers.

New Terminology: "Arc Rated" Protective Equipment

CSA Z462-12 adds a new term: "arc rated". This term is used to distinguish PPE that provides arc flash protection from PPE that provides flame resistance or flash-fire resistance (FR rating). CSA points out that “the arc rating assigned to protective equipment should not be confused with the arc flash incident energy calculated or estimated for electrical equipment (circuits). The former refers to the amount of protection offered while the latter refers to the nature of the hazard".

New Worker Training Requirements

CSA Z462-12 changes the training requirement from requiring “periodic training” to a requirement for training every three years.

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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