Electrical Job Safety Plan: Updates in the NFPA 70E and CSA Z462

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Electrical Job Safety Plan: Updates in the NFPA 70E and CSA Z462

The requirement of having an electrical job safety plan (JSP) has been a major change in both the NFPA 70E 2018 and CSA Z462 2018.

In this article, I focus on why a JSP is a critical element in a safety program. The updated standards deliver specific guidance on what a JSP should contain.  Some highlights from the article follow:

  1. Safe electrical work should be well-planned, clearly communicated, and documented. In the 2015 editions, job briefings had to cover certain subjects, but no requirement to document the briefings existed. Neither did the 2015 editions state anything specific about job safety planning.
  2. Clear understanding of the electrical work to be performed is crucial in preventing accidents. All too frequently, a root cause for electrical accidents in the workplace can be traced back to unclear or vague job planning.
  3. New annexes in both standards emphasize some tried-and-true principles of human performance. These are Annex U in CSA Z462 and Annex Q in NFPA 70E.

Author’s Note: CSA Z462 and NFPA 70E are technically aligned in almost every case. CSA Z462 uses a clause format, while NFPA 70E uses an article format. Any perceived differences between this article and either standard need to be vetted for accuracy by the reader using their own up-to-date and current copy of either standard as appropriate to their workplace. These standards need to be used in their entirety to be effective. Using any one section in isolation often leads to incorrect decisions. Persons who use either standard need to be qualified and competent.

This article has been published in NETA World, Winter 2017 issue. You can access the complete article on the NETA site.

About the Author

Mike Doherty is an electrical safety consultant and instructor for e-Hazard Canada. He also writes a column for Electricity Business Magazine called “Electrical Safety 360”.

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