CSA Z462-18 Has Been Released

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Based on the latest research, the CSA Z462-18 – Workplace Electrical Safety builds upon its previous editions. It was written in conjunction with the latest editions of NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I.

10 Changes to Know in the CSA Z462, 2018 Edition

  1. Further to the risk-based approach to safety, safety controls must be developed and prioritized based on documented risk assessments.
  2. Requirements for condition of maintenance, periodic inspections, and program auditing have been added to the section on electrical safety programs.
  3. The hierarchy of control is now mandatory with a new requirement that makes hazard elimination the first priority in the implementation of safety-related work practices.
  4. Electrical safety programs are now required to include the investigation of “near miss” incidents.
  5. The minimum threshold for potentially-hazardous energy has been reduced from 50V to 30V.
  6. The process for shock risk assessment is now aligned with the arc flash risk assessment process.
  7. Arc blast is now recognized as a category of electrical hazards.
  8. The table on the selection of clothing and other PPE has been moved from Annex H to the criteria on arc flash risk assessment, making it part of the mandatory requirements.
  9. The table on arc flash hazard identification is now affiliated with the arc flash risk assessment.
  10. All training and auditing requirements have been relocated to Clause 4.1, following the establishment of an electrical safety program.

You can order a copy on the CSA Group website.


Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. John van Hooydonk

    Excellent Hugh! I am very delighted to see the changes that have now been adopted int the safety standard.
    I am now retired since 2013 but am always interested in looking at what has been improved. I saw so many changes in my own career over the 52 years on the job. One thing we v=can continuously count on is change. As we learn we have to change for the better. .I have always appreciated your obvious efforts and attention to safety in your work life and I commend you on that as you have helped many workers to attain a better much safer outlook and advantage toward a safe work day. Thank you for your input to making my work life a lot safer.

  2. Garrett Smith

    Can you please explain point #3. Is this “mandatory” as stated in Federal and/or Provincial regulation? At this time, in BC, WorksafeBC references Z462 as a useful tool to provide guidance however does not state adherence to Z462 is “mandatory”. Any clarification is appreciated.

    1. Hugh Hoagland

      “Mandatory” in CSA Z462. Z462 is not law in Canada. It is a consensus standard which may be used by provinces and may be cited in abatement of an incident. We would call it “best practices” in the US and one could be cited by OSHA under a general duty clause to keep an injured worker safe and the state or federal government would then point to ONE way to abate the problem. That is the same in Canada. NOT law, we were speaking from CSA Z462 since this is a mandatory part of the standard rather than an optional part of the standard IF you are claiming to meet Z462. IF it became law in any province, it would then be mandatory for all work sites. But it is not law in any province to my knowledge

  3. Garrett Smith

    Thanks Hugh

  4. Eric

    For change number 5
    (The minimum threshold for potentially-hazardous energy has been reduced from 50V to 30V.)

    It is not clear how this rule is applied, is the voltage metered from ”Pin” to ground ?
    Or is it from ”Pin” to ”Pin” ?

    Some CSA approved equipment are outputting -24 volts AND + 24 volts, making the potential difference of 48 volts, which is surpassing the new threshold of 30 volts.
    Meaning, this type of equipment would not be approved anymore.

    Hopefully this is not an issue and it is just me misinterpreting the rule.

    1. Hugh Hoagland

      This is the safety standard, not the CEC. The goal is to provide worker protection on basically all voltages from 30V upward (so 42V control wires will require using a rubber insulating glove when manipulating or testing) but 24V controls and 12V controls will not typically require shock protection.

      This is true only in Canada but some provinces had lowered the threshold which had historically been 50V so the CSA Z462 lowered theirs too.


  5. Murray MacDonald

    Is the 30 V limit AC and how would that translate to DC? In a few product standards and for CLass 2 in CEC, the interpretation used is something like “The maximum voltage between any two output terminals under any load condition, including no load, 42.4 V peak or (33 + 0.45 × the dc component voltage), up to a maximum of 60 V. This corresponds to a limit of 30 V rms for sinusoidal ac waveforms, 42.4 V peak for other waveforms, and 60 V continuous dc.” Would that be applicable here?

  6. Zarheer Jooma

    The voltage issues between peak versus rms and AC vs DC creates a lot of confusion globally. As we see more specialized IT and smart equipment “proprietary” voltages, I don’t see this becoming any easier.

    42V and 48V can hurt depending on the “strength” of the source to overcome the “body resistance”. The intent of many standards and laws is to prevent inadvertent movement that can result in contact with higher voltages or higher energy sources.

    Both the IEC and ASTM standards for electrical shock always refer to the rms voltage – take the US 480V rms values (for example) requiring a class 00 glove. If peak voltages was the intended requirement, then US workers will all be using a Glass 0 glove for work below “480V”. At present we use a class 00 glove rated for a max 500V AC and 750V DC. Peak AC is more than 500V!

    Using your example – 30V rms and a max DC voltage (excl dc ripple) of 30V will be the limit.

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