Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

May 4, 2020

ElectrocutionWhen working with electricity, no hazard should be overlooked. According to specialists, there is no situation where electricity represents a lesser risk for workers. If the power is on, there is danger. The best protection against the risk of electric shock is to turn the power off before starting the task. It doesn’t take much to cause an accident.

Canadian federal legislation requires that employers exercise due diligence against workplace hazards, which means to make every reasonable effort to protect their employees. Bill C-21, passed in 2004, added Section 217.1 to the Criminal Code: “Everyone who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.”

For electrical safety, the CSA Z462-08 standard “Workplace Electrical Safety” began in Canada in 2008. Today, the CSA Z462-18 standard, edited in 2018, is in effect. This standard focuses mainly on arc flash and electrical shock risks, and provides preventive measures to be implemented in order to avoid damages occurring generally when the work is performed in hazardous conditions.

How it is going with your electrical safety program?

According to the regulation, employers must implement and document a comprehensive electrical safety program to outline the activities adapted to electrical hazards, voltage, energy level and circuit conditions in the workplace and surrounding area.

Three types of risk when working on energized equipment:

• Electrization and electrocution. Electricity going through the body or “electrization”, can sometimes cause external and internal burns, cardiac rhythm disorders and injuries to organs. In severe cases, when injuries lead to death, this constitutes an electrocution.

• Burns caused by arc flash. Arc flash can be created by faulty equipment, unleashing a significant amount of energy that will burn the worker. The quantity of energy freed up by the arc is called “incident energy”. This depends on the short-circuit capacity at the fault, the circuit voltage, and opening time for protection.

• Explosion. This is a very dangerous phenomenon for workers. It can rupture eardrums, crush the lungs, and throw debris and molten metals that can severely injure the workers.


Analyzing incident energy

A study shall be conducted by experts to determine the potential exposure of a worker to the energy generated by arc flashes in order to prevent injuries, establish safe work practices and a proper arc flash perimeter, as well as to define the appropriate level of personal protective equipment.
Control of electric risks: working offline

The essence of the Occupational Health and Safety Act supports hazard elimination at the source. Working offline is an efficient method to eliminate hazards and prevent accidents from occurring every year. Constraints sometimes make it difficult to work on de-energized equipment; work planning is also required. Standards, work methods and equipment allow workers to perform their tasks safely.

Personal protective equipment

Employees working in locations where electrical hazards are present must use personal protective equipment designed and manufactured according to the body part to protect and the type of work to accomplish. The equipment is intended to protect workers against arc flash and electric shocks. Although certain situations can provoke skin burns even when protected, these burns are visibly reduced and not lethal. The protective equipment must be maintained in a safe and reliable state, visually inspected before each use, and stored properly to prevent deterioration due to humidity, dusts and other deteriorating agents.

Labelling clothing and PPE

The labelling of clothing and equipment must contain the following information:

• tracking code
• compliance to the ASTM F1506 standard
• name of manufacturer
• size
• care instructions and fibre composition
• ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value) or EBT (Energy Breakopen Threshold) indicated in cal/cm2 (for each fabric layer)

Labelling of electrical equipment

The relevant electrical equipment must be labelled on site to warn qualified people of the potential risks of arc flashes. Here are a few examples of equipment that must be labelled using warning labels:

• distribution panels
• electrical panels
• motor control center
• industrial control panels
• counter junction boxes

Labelling is necessary for every electrical equipment that may require an inspection, adjustment or maintenance when energized, which can potentially cause an arc flash.

Every modification or renovation of electrical equipment can cause a change in the data indicated on the label and will require an update of the arc flash assessment and labelling. The CSA Z462 standard can guide organizations through the implementation of an appropriate safety program. The safety program must at least be verified at intervals of no more than three years and the evaluation of electrical hazards must be reviewed periodically at intervals of no more than five years.

According to the CE Electrical Code, it is required to affix the label in a visible place for qualified people so it can be consulted before beginning the work. Generally, the label is placed on the outside of the panel or on the box door. In certain cases, organizations can choose to install the label on the inside of the door to protect it; however, it should only be done if the door must be opened to remove the front of the box in order always to make the label visible.

The key point is that labels must always be easily visible to workers before they are exposed to potentially dangerous equipment.

From the moment organizations become aware of electrical hazards, SPI offers services and equipment to protect people who work, one way or another, with electricity. Contact our experts for advice or for training your teams.

This article was first published online by SPI Health and Safety; www.spi-s.com/en/blog/electrical-safety/electrical-safety-in-the-workplace. The company’s mission is to be the single most valuable partner for companies that value health and safety in their work environment.

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EIN ABB logo 400ABB is an international company with a large global presence, but did you know that a significant percentage of the products sold in Canada are also designed and manufactured locally?

ABB’s Installation Products division, formerly known as Thomas & Betts, operates seven manufacturing facilities in Canada, six of them in Quebec and one in Alberta.

Many of their most well-known brands, including IBERVILLE®️️, Marrette®️️, Microlectric®️️, and Star Teck®️️, are products that started in Canada and are still manufactured locally to meet Canadian standards.

 

 


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 



 

 Siemens Built In Isolation Products 400By Alyssa Kerslake

Life safety today is top of mind for nearly everyone. There is a certain level of trust that fire alarm systems continue to work within a fire incident. With system survivability being a key concern to regulators, building managers, and the public, Siemens has developed systems that are designed to meet and exceed regulations that protect people, property, and assets. 

One of the most significant concerns, particularly in a large multi-story building, is implementing a secure and fully functional fire alarm system. Today, it is not uncommon to have power and data for hundreds of fire alarm devices connected over a single pair of wires. The concern is, if a fault occurs somewhere between the devices, the zone and location of the device may no longer be known, or the operation of that circuit reduced or possibly impaired. These scenarios could allow an undetected catastrophic event to develop within the space due to inoperable life safety devices. 

 

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David Gordon

By Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member

The CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard published its 2021 Edition in January.  A mandatory requirement for an employer is developing, implementing, and auditing an Electrical Safety Program.  If you have an Electrical Safety Program, is it up to date in its policies, practices and procedural requirements, is it performing as expected?  Workers do not necessarily do what you expect, they do what you inspect!  Management of change is required.

I have been involved in supporting industry with respect to shock and arc flash hazards in the workplace and in understanding what needs to be done to ensure worker safety, that effective defendable due diligence is established, and evidence of compliance is available related to occupational health & safety regulations both Provincial, Territorially or Federally.  I am in Ontario this week completing a detailed Electrical Safety Audit at multiple enterprise facilities.


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Milwaukee M12 Cable Stripper

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Simplify control of the residence - schedule lamps and connected loads to turn on/off at specific times or based on sunrise/sunset, easily group smart devices into rooms, and create scenes to activate multiple loads at once. Utilize the auto-shutoff feature as a countdown timer in closets, hallways and bathrooms.

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Incoplas Hybrid

Now available for Siemens Class 52 Actuators and Indicator Lights are the new Class 1, Div. 2 contact blocks. Suitable for use in Hazardous Location, Class 1, Div. 2 applications when used in a suitable enclosure. No matter which style actuator you use, the common base provided attaches to the hazardous location contact blocks easily.

Hazardous Location (HL) Series Contact Blocks are good for Hazardous Location CL1, DIV2 Applications using a Standard Enclosure NEMA 1, 12, 13, 4, 4X.

HL Series Contact Blocks are rated for switching high inrush loads like Tungsten Lamps.

 

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EarthTronics 25-Watt Emergency Driver for Linear Highbay

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The Swidget product line targets the Home Automation and Smart Home markets with a unique future-proof solution. Swidget currently offers eight smart Inserts with different functionalities including Wi-Fi control, indoor air quality sensor, temperature, humidity, and motion sensors, as well as a USB charger guide light, and emergency lighting. They can all be controlled from anywhere with the Swidget App for iOS/Android or Alexa and Google Home.

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EngWorksBy Blake Marchand

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Given the complexity of hazardous locations, Bozek saw a need for education while working in the field and began developing training courses designed.

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We met with him recently to discuss his new role at the helm of ABB Canada and his plans moving forward. He began by pointing out that the recent change to ABB Canada's structure, as elsewhere in the world, was made to make customer relations more straightforward. 

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